Think tank paints picture of radical cross-border reforms needed

July 2, 1999

A think-tank has proposed major higher education reform to maximise the potential for cross-border integration between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

The Independent Democratic Dialogue Group, which led discussions leading to the think-tank's report, said the mutual recognition of qualifications was important to free up the island's labour market.

Reforms should include common entry requirements for post-16 education allied to a joint third-level accreditation system. But there will be difficult trade-offs, particularly for the republic.

The proposal is likely to provide early food for thought for the Department of Higher and Further Education, one of the new government departments outlined following the Good Friday agreement and a topic for the implementation bodies.

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