Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Department of Education and Skills
Higher Education Institutions Expenditure
224. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the deficit incurred by Waterford Institute of Technology in each of the years 2013 to 2016 to date; the measures being put in place to address the deficit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20518/16]
My Department allocates recurrent funding to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to the HEA designated higher education institutions, including Institutes such as Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). The HEA allocates this funding to the institutions and the internal disbursement of funding is then a matter for the individual institution.
Details on the operating deficits incurred by WIT in recent years are set out in the following table. The HEA are closely monitoring the financial position of all of the IoTs and in particular are working closely with those operating in deficit, including WIT, to ensure appropriate mechanisms are put in place to eliminate the deficit as quickly as possible. The HEA has a policy framework in place for engaging with vulnerable IoTs like WIT, which requires institutes to submit a three year plan to return them to a balanced budget situation.
I understand that WIT has undertaken an extensive review within the Institute to examine a number of the key drivers of academic and financial performance, with working groups established to identify appropriate actions to generate cost efficiencies and target revenue generation. WIT has presented the HEA with their three year plan which shows further deficits forecast for 2015/16 and 2016/17 before a return to surplus target for 2017/18.
The success of this plan will be dependent on initiatives to target student retention, to increase part-time and industry focused provision, and to reduce the overall cost base. The HEA will continue to closely monitor the position and work with WIT to address the deficit issue.Deficits Incurred by Waterford Institute of Technology:
Note: It should be noted that the above figures refer to operating deficits/surpluses in a given year and that a larger deficit is expected to be reported in the certified 2014/15 accounts as a result of the consolidation of subsidiary accounts and a revised treatment of research grants.