The Deputy may wish to note that in relation to work placements for medical students, the universities continue to provide formal education throughout the course of all years of medical courses with the majority of this formal education provided by clinical lecturing staff who are employed by the universities and who are deployed at clinical sites.
In addition, the final years of most undergraduate curricula include both formal small group teaching and clinical skills development across a range of clinical settings including acute, general and specialist hospitals as well as primary care centres. The formal education activity is led and managed by university staff who are employed at these clinical sites.
It is, therefore, appropriate for the universities to receive funding in respect of these students during their placements.
It is also important to emphasise that Universities remain at all times responsible for the education programme including that component which is delivered at clinical sites.
This is consistent with the principle that under the Universities Act, 1997, universities are autonomous bodies and are responsible for their own day to day affairs, including the delivery of its academic programmes.