Wednesday, 10 October 2018
Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018: Second Stage
I welcome the Minister of State to the House to discuss this important issue. I compliment QQI on the work it has done to date. It has engaged in consultation and has highlighted some parts of the Bill that need to be improved. I know the Minister of State is bringing a number of proposals before us today on foot of that consultation. I worked closely with a number of colleges when I was going through the Bill. I would like to raise an issue that relates to section 65(6) of the Bill. I propose that this section should refer to Mary Immaculate College and Marino Institute of Education. They did not get to make submissions because they missed the date. They are not mentioned in this Bill even though other universities are. I ask the Minister of State to take this on board when she brings the Bill back to this House. Other than that, I think it is a very positive Bill. I understand the concept behind its introduction. I know the third level institutes we are discussing have been working very hard. I have been monitoring some of the work they have been doing. As a result of the decision to bring everything together, students are able to apply to a single body for their qualifications. This service is being monitored. As far as I can see, it has been provided in a very effective and efficient manner to date. The maintenance of the national framework of qualifications is also important. It has been highlighted that the Bill needs to be strengthened and that changes need to be made to it. I compliment and support that proposal.