Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science | Ensuring an adequate amount of graduates to meet demands in education, health, and engineering
To ask the Minister for Further and Higher Education; Research; Innovation and Science the extent to which he and his Department continue to ensure a steady stream of graduates to meet the demand in education, health and engineering, given the demands likely to emerge now and in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ensuring an appropriate pipeline of suitably qualified graduates to meet the critical skills needs in healthcare, education and engineering is a priority for my Department.
My Department is strongly committed to supporting the tertiary education sector in supplying graduates with the key competencies and skills to be effective to meet the professional demand in these areas.
Officials from my Department have been engaging extensively with the Higher Education Authority and the higher education sector to identify where additional places can and should be provided in the higher education system.
These additional places will be targeted at areas of acute skills need as identified through our national skills architecture. Over one thousand additional places were announced last summer which were made available in September 2022, these included healthcare programmes such as medicine and nursing.
The Higher Education Authority are finalising the Expressions of Interest process, where EOIs were sought from HEIs to build capacity in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine. It is planned to have a similar process for the therapy disciplines.
I look forward to receiving the final report of options for my Department to review shortly.
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