Forum on Minister Bruton’s Action Plan for Education

Minister Richard Bruton

A forum was held in NUI Galway on Friday 9th of March to discuss ‘Meeting the needs of Senior Cycle Students and the Skill needs for Work and Enterprise.' IFUT was represented at the Forum by Deputy General Secretary, Frank Jones, and IFUT NUI Galway Representative, Alastair McKinstry. Regrettably and unsurprisingly the meeting focused on how the Senior Cycle syllabus can become more responsive to the immediate and short term needs of industry. It came as no surprise to those in attendance from the Trade Union Movement that the Minister’s Plan to have ‘the best Education and Training Service by 2026’, involves ensuring that the short-term and often narrow needs of certain business sectors are strongly promoted as the basis for course development. This raises fundamental questions about the future of our universities in society, how the Government views the development of funding models and, as a consequence, its view of Academic Freedom and the autonomy of the entire university system in the years ahead.