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Higher Education Futures

The Academy has convened a group of experts to explore framework options for the future development of higher education across the island of Ireland

The Royal Irish Academy Higher Education Futures Group will explore framework options for the future development of higher education across the island of Ireland.  It will examine a number of the key issues likely to influence and define the future shape and delivery of higher education, drawing on national and international voices and perspectives to inform the discussion.

The Higher Education Futures Group, under the leadership of the Academy’s Senior Vice President, Prof Gerry McKenna MRIA, will be advisory. Its range of focus and activities may include inter alia: the role of higher education on the island of Ireland and the effects of COVID-19 on its delivery and demand, the regional roles of higher education and the role of the technological universities, future funding models, and North-South collaboration in teaching and research (including future participation in EU and UK funding programmes).

The Higher Education Futures Group will be informed by a wide range of discussions with stakeholders and networks and will use its convening power to stay connected with other relevant discussions ongoing in this area. It will publish outputs as part of a series as they are completed and accepted by the group. It is intended that the totality of outputs, along with a final overview provided by the group, will provide a framework for the maintenance and development of a world class, comprehensive and sustainable higher education sector within the island of Ireland.

It is planned that the programme of work and its outputs should be completed by mid-2021.

The Group will have a preliminary meeting in September 2020 at which its priority task will be to identify some of the key issues and questions that should be explored.

Working group members

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