Thursday, 14 January 2021
Covid-19 (Higher Education): Statements
I always appreciate people helping to advocate investment in higher education, and yes, I will. Last year saw the largest ever increase in the number of higher education places in our country. Many Deputies opposite were rightly concerned, as was I, that that would be a one-year-only investment. We have managed to ensure that all the extra places we put into the third level system last year will be available again this year, with 2,000 additional places on top of that. We are expanding and growing the higher education sector at a rate at which we have never done before. Policy on the leaving certificate does, obviously, reside with the Minister for Education, but Deputy Murphy is right that my Department's role is to make sure we have as many places available for people as possible.