The Irish government has made available additional resources to support innovation in higher education and institutions operating across several sites.
Up to €5 million (£4.4 million) has been allocated to a new innovation fund to which universities can now apply for financial support. In launching the fund, education and skills minister Richard Bruton explained that it was designed to “prioritis[e] four key areas for funding which include improving student learning outcomes, flexible learning opportunities, student progression, and the recognition of prior learning”. Submissions will be assessed by an independent international expert panel and the successful projects will be determined later this year.
Multi-site institutions can apply to a separate fund for €250,000 per annum that higher education minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor described as “intended to recognise the challenges faced by operating in more than one campus, over a wide geographical area, and the funding implications that this presents”.
Both funds take up the recommendations of an independent expert panel looking into the best funding allocation model for Ireland whose findings were published earlier this year.