The Higher Education Authority Bill 2022 has been making its way through the Joint Houses of the Oireachtas.
It had been government's intention to conclude debate and discussion on amendments to the legislation on Monday 11th of July. This position had been relayed to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education. Following some interventions from the Committee, the Bill was brought before the Seanad on the 12th of July, discussions did not conclude and the debate before the Seanad on the Bill has been adjourned for now. The Bill has now been placed in limbo for the Summer. It has been signalled that it will be re-introduced in the Autumn, probably September but this is not stated. The Oireachtas Bills’ office on late Friday 15th of July had no further information on proposed new dates. The Minister has not indicated if he will present any new amendments of his own in the Autumn. If changes are made, the government is more likely to present some of the Opposition proposals as their own rather than accept them from the Opposition.
A meeting was due to be scheduled, at the Minister's request, with IFUT. A date has not been set despite a number of contacts from IFUT. It is now likely that this meeting will be held in the second half of August. IFUT will use this opportunity to remind the Minister of the concerns that IFUT have with the proposed legislation.
We appreciate all of the input that members and branches have provided us with, we have relied on this input when presenting to the Joint Oireachtas Committee and indeed in our lobbying efforts, we will continue to do this and we continue to welcome any input that members wish to bring to us.