Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Questions (626)

Rose Conway-Walsh

Question:

626. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if the full economic costings per discipline across the third-level sector will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11113/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

The information requested in not readily available in the format requested by the Deputy.

In 2016, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) appointed an independent Expert Panel to review thecurrent allocation model for funding higher education and to make recommendations on the most appropriate funding model for the future. The completed review recommends reforms to the HEA funding distribution model. A key recommendation of the RFAM report is the development of a Costing Model applied consistently across Higher Education Institutes (at present, there is some differentiation in the costing approach as between the Universities and the Technological Universities; Institutes of Technology). Deloitte were appointed by HEA in 2019 to undertake a scoping exercise on an appropriate model. In 2021, the HEA working with DES, DPER, the IUA and THEA will commence development of a conceptual framework on the journey towards adoption of a Universal Costing System applying across the entire Higher Education Sector. This will be an important milestone to help underpin a new strategic funding policy for the sector

Officials in my Department have consulted with the Higher Education Authority who provided the following information in relation to the current costings per discipline:

The university sector collects full economic costing data . The IoT/TU sector collects unit cost data which involves a different methodology to Full Economic Costing (FEC).

The full economic cost of each student enrolled as an undergraduate student will vary depending on the discipline. - e.g. laboratory based disciplines ( science, engineering, etc ) will have a greater cost (c. €10,000-€11,000 per undergraduate student) than non-lab disciplines (arts, business, etc, which is c. €7,000 per undergraduate student). Health related disciplines (e.g. medicine and dentistry) will be significantly higher than non-lab disciplines.

An average cost for a student (taking all disciplines into account) would currently be in the region of €9,000 - €10,000 per student per year.

The latest university FEC data (2016/17) indicates that the cost of postgraduate taught students will vary depending on the discipline. The average cost for a laboratory-based postgraduate taught student is c. €15,000 per student per year. An average cost for a non-laboratory postgraduate taught student is c. €12,000 per student per year. The full economic cost of postgraduate research students will also vary depending on discipline. An average cost for a laboratory-based postgraduate research student is c. €18,000 per student per year. An average cost for a non-laboratory postgraduate research student is c. €21,000 per student per year.