Edition 215 - March 2019

Ireland: Government Launches Action Plan for Education 2019

The Irish Department of Education and Skills has recently published its Action Plan for Education 2019 outlining, together with the Statement of Strategy 2019-2021, the Government’s goals, commitments and reform programmes for 2019.

One of the objectives of the Action Plan for Education is to enable more people to access higher education, through for example the implementation of the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2021 and by monitoring the admission and enrolment trends of Institutes of Technology, Technological Universities, colleges and universities so that higher education becomes more representative.

Provisions included in the Action Plan focus on, among others:

  • increasing participation rates for under-represented groups, by e.g. supporting and increasing traveller minority ethnic groups’ and lone parents’ participation in HE;
  • improving gender balance among staff in HEIs;
  • improving life-long learning by looking at research opportunities and strengthening the apprenticeship and traineeship systems.

The higher education infrastructure will also be improved through a public investment of EUR 2.2 billion envisaged in the National Development Plan 2018-2027.

The Action Plan also lists the actions to be implemented in 2019 and supporting the Department’s internationalisation strategy. In particular, action nr. 60, under Goal 4, foresees a cost benefit analysis of internationalisation for both Government and HEIs; an assessment of how to improve the impact of international education on the economy; and a review of the International Education Strategy for Ireland 2016-2020. A report released in August last year already took stock of the state of internationalisation of Irish HEIs and of the importance of the current strategy in this respect (see ACA Newsletter- Education Europe, August 2018). In order to assess the developments made in internationalisation during 2019, the following indicators will be used:    

  • the number of international students in Irish public and private HEIs;
  • the number of higher education students from Ireland participating in Erasmus+;
  • the number of English language students studying in Ireland.


Government of Ireland – Department for Education and Skills – Press Release

(back to newsletter)