Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Institutions
206. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 236 of 14 October 2020, if Dublin Technical University currently holds no debt; if he plans to create a borrowing framework for the technological universities to allow them to borrow in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31917/20]
I wish to advise the Deputy that TU Dublin does not have a borrowing framework and has no debt.
The Universities Act, 1997 contains a provision for universities to borrow within a framework agreed with the Higher Education Authority. This framework, which was agreed with the now Department of Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science and the now Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, has been in operation for many years. A similar provision to allow Institutes of Technology to borrow is contained in the Institutes of Technology Act, 2006, and for Technological Universities under the Technological University Act, 2018, however this provision has not been enacted.
Technological Universities (TUs) are considered to be General Government entities and borrowings by TUs would contribute towards General Government expenditure and affect the General Government balance.
The Department continues to assess in consultation with stakeholders, including TU Dublin and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the appropriate development of a borrowing framework for technological universities.
207. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the breakdown of the funding for laptops for disadvantaged third-level students for each qualified college in tabular form; the number of laptops supplied to individual students from each college involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31995/20]
As part of a package of COVID-19 supports for the higher and further education sectors, my Department has allocated €15 million to higher and further education providers for a once-off COVID-19 grant to support disadvantaged students in accessing ICT devices.
This initiative addresses concerns regarding the digital divide in the context of the shift to online and blended models of learning as a result of COVID-19 and the importance of supporting disadvantaged students to adapt to these new models.
Devices procured using the grant will be distributed by Higher Education Institutions and Education and Training Boards to disadvantaged students via appropriate lending schemes. Over 16,700 laptops have been procured and shipped as part of a bulk order organised by HEAnet, while additional devices are being procured by some providers directly.
I am including in the tables beneath, for the Deputy's information, the grant allocated to each provider; the number of devices procured by the HEIs and ETBs under the HEAnet bulk order and also the number of devices procured by the ETBs directly. Please note that the Department does not currently have detail in relation to the numbers of devices procured by the HEIs directly; however, this information has been requested and will be provided to the Deputy once available.
|HEI||Grant Allocated||Devices (HEAnet)|
|UCC||€590,432||0 - all procured directly|
|Mary Immaculate College, Limerick||€219,065||333|
|St Angela's College, Sligo||€71,748||109|
|IADT||€101,760||0 - all procured directly|
|St. Patrick's College, Maynooth||€13,751||15|
|Marino Institute of Education||€45,373||47|
|National College of Ireland||€222,942||288|
|ETB||Grant Allocated||Devices (HEAnet)||Devices (Procured directly)||Total Devices|
|Cavan and Monaghan ETB||€211,000||160||160||320|
|City of Dublin ETB||€887,000||1200||90||1290|
|Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB||€489,000||693||0||693|
|Galway and Roscommon ETB||€326,000||498||1||499|
|Kildare and Wicklow ETB||€240,500||356||0||356|
|Kilkenny and Carlow ETB||€171,500||0||343||343|
|Laois and Offaly ETB||€145,000||0||300||300|
|Limerick Clare ETB||€385,000||0||900||900|
|Longford and Westmeath ETB||€145,500||0||120||120|
|Louth and Meath ETB||€313,500||250||173||423|
|Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB||€263,000||400||0||400|
|SOLAS Funded Groups||€35,500||0||TBC||TBC|
|Waterford and Wexford ETB||€308,000||453||0||453|