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Written Answers - Third Level Participation

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 19.  Deputy Willie O’Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the proposals he has to support growth in participation at third level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19410/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Ireland currently performs very strongly in terms of participation in higher education and has the highest tertiary attainment rate among 25-34 year olds in the European Union. Projections published by my Department in June 2011 show that the demand for higher education in Ireland is set to grow by 62% in the next twenty years.

While welcome, the scale of projected growth will present major challenges for Ireland’s higher education system in ensuring that student numbers can be accommodated in a sustainable way that does not compromise high quality outcomes.

The National Strategy for Higher Education makes a number of recommendations for system development, flexibility, efficiency and change aimed at supporting sustainable growth while protecting quality. Implementation of strategy recommendations is underway and a progress report is available on

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