Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Department of Education and Skills
766. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has considered a proposal by an organisation (details supplied) for an all-island initiative to promote humanities research on the island; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17476/21]
767. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he has taken to promote all-island collaboration between higher education institutions on the island to research into the humanities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17480/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 766 and 767 together.
My Department has engaged with a range of stakeholders with respect to the promotion of all-island research collaboration between higher education institutions. This also includes engagement with the Shared-Island Unit of the Department of the Taoiseach.
I have received a proposal from the Irish Humanities Alliance with respect to an All-Island Research Centre in the humanities as well as proposals from other research organisations relating to collaboration in the social sciences. Other organisations have also submitted proposals with respect to specific areas of research. Universities Ireland has also submitted a proposal which seeks to develop research opportunities in a range of disciplines on an all-Island basis.
Science Foundation Ireland is engaged with HEIs and its UK counterparts with respect to the potential for development of research centre programmes in the areas relevant to its remit.
The Department is considering these proposals as part of the implementation of its Statement of Strategy which confirms the commitment to advance North/South cooperation in line with New Decade, New Approach. Officials are also engaged with their counterparts in the Department for the Economy as part of this work.