Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (197)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

197. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if his attention has been drawn to a proposal to help alleviate the shortage of medical scientists by way of a graduate-entry course at Technological University Dublin; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that TU Dublin is preparing for an initial intake of students in January 2020; the measures he will take to ensure sufficient staff are in position to deliver the course; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26081/20]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

TU Dublin is an autonomous higher education institution (HEI) within the meaning of the Technological Universities Act 2018. As such the management of the technological university's academic affairs, including the curriculum and instruction and education provided by the technological university are matters for TU Dublin.

My Department allocates funding to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to designated HEIs. The HEA allocates this funding as a block grant to the institutions, and as autonomous bodies, the internal disbursement of this funding, including the funding of course delivery, is a matter for the individual institution. Neither I as Minister nor my Department has any role in relation to this matter.

My Department understands that TU Dublin, in consultation with the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine (ACSLM) and the Medical Scientist Profession is developing a postgraduate entry route to medical science, with a potential first intake of up to 20 students in January 2021. The new postgraduate programme must meet the requirements of the Statutory Regulator CORU, and the programme must be resourced to ensure that it meets the ‘Criteria and Standards of Proficiency’ as set by the Medical Scientists Registration Board of CORU. It is understood that TU Dublin has approved an additional staffing resource for delivery of the programme and is collaborating with the ACSLM in negotiating training stipends with the Health Service Executive (HSE) for the postgraduate entry students and awaits formal HSE agreement in this regard.