Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today launched the second stage of the ‘Higher Education Big Conversation’ about the future sustainability of higher education in Northern Ireland.
Minister Farry said: “Stage two of the Higher Education Big Conversation provides the people of Northern Ireland with the opportunity to have their say about the future of higher education here.
“Parents, organisations, employers, employees, former higher education students, and prospective and current students tested their knowledge of higher education during the first stage of the process. I welcome everyone’s involvement in the Big Conversation so far and I am now inviting you to help shape the future of our higher education system.
“The model we currently use to support higher education in Northern Ireland is no longer sustainable. Across the world countries and regions approach higher education in very different ways, with different combinations of public and individual financing for core teaching, different profiles in attracting external finance, and different approaches to the provision of the high level skills demanded by modern economies.
“I believe we need to find our own unique solution to the challenges facing higher education here. We can no longer maintain the status quo and it is time we had a discussion about what alternatives might work for us here in Northern Ireland.
“Once the people of Northern Ireland have had the opportunity to share their views on the future of higher education here, I will be using this evidence base to formulate an options paper which I will be presenting to my Executive colleagues, outlining the ways in which higher education could be sustained in the future.
“We must all work together to agree a clear way forward, and during this second stage I am inviting as many people as possible to join the conversation and have their say about the future of our higher education system.”
The Higher Education Big Conversation will run until 23 October. The Department is utilising Citizen Space as a user-friendly digital hub to ascertain the public’s views on higher education funding. The platform enables the public to submit responses online.
To participate in the second stage of the ‘Big Conversation’ and have your say in regard to how higher education should be supported in the future visit nidirectexternal link and fill out the online questionnaire.
Feedback can also be provided directly to the Departmentexternal link.