Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Education

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
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642. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review the current higher education metrics in the annual Revised Estimates Volume and the Public Service Performance Report to ensure the measure performance particularly in areas such as metrics on socio-economic diversity in higher education; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31778/22]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Performance and Equality Budgeting is an integral part of the current budgeting framework of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) and metrics are reviewed as part of the Revised Estimates process.

DFHERIS Higher education context and impact indicators that specifically address socio-economic diversity in higher education include:

- Unemployment rate – third level as highest level of education (as a percentage of total labour force)

- Total Higher Education students studying on a flexible basis (part-time and/or remotely)

- No. of students receiving supports in the form of grants (undergraduate, postgraduate, and PLC)

Under Equality Budgeting objectives, DFHERIS has high level goals to accelerate gender balance, and to ensure that the student body entering into, participating in and completing higher education at all levels reflects the diversity and social mix of Ireland's population. Specific metrics and indicators are:

- Number of Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) posts approved for the higher education sector

- Number of state funded institutions that have achieved Athena Swan Bronze awards

- Percentage of new entrants entering higher education with a disability

- Number of new entrants to higher education who are Travellers

The Department will continue to work with the sector to review the current higher education metrics with respect to ensuring performance is measured in areas of socio-economic diversity in higher education.

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