AILG President Cllr Mary Hoade has made a strong submission to the review of higher education government bodies insisting that Councillors should remain an integral part of the third level forums.
Said Councillor Hoade: ” Councillors represent the public interest on University Governing bodies and are best placed to link the colleges with the needs of the regions in which they are located.”
To read the full AILG submission click HERE
She was responding to a consultation process set up by Minister Simon Harris, T.D., Minister of State for Further and Higher Education which suggests that the size of Governing Bodies will be slashed thereby reducing the number of seats available for councillor representatives.
Currently there are eight Councillors on the Governing Body of UCD, seven each on UCC and UCG, 2 on UL and 1 on DCU.
“Councillors add value to the Governing bodies by bringing a perspective on real life outside of the academic corridors of the universities. They help to make the governing bodies a truly representative forum bringing regional needs and assets to the table, ” concluded Cllr Hoade.
The AILG submission is based on a detailed study commissioned by the Association which identifies the assets which Councillors contribute to university policy making:
- Representing the public interest – Councillors have first-hand knowledge of the needs of the regions they represent and can feed such knowledge into the policy process of the Universities so that the institutions which are in receipt of significant public money can best tailor their programmes to respond to local skills requirements;
- Linkage with other levels of education: many Councillors serve on Education and Training Boards throughout the country, and on boards for a range of primary and post-primary schools and therefore provide a link between all levels of education – primary, secondary and tertiary;
- Governance and business experience: through their local authority roles Councillors have experience in making decisions as regards allocation of funding and of resources and bring this expertise to the benefit of university governance.