Departmentof Education & Skills print friedly logo

Public Consultation on Exchequer-Employer Investment

Public Consultation on Exchequer-Employer investment mechanism for HE and FET

The 2016 report of the Expert Group on Future Funding of Higher Education “Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education” concluded that employers are major beneficiaries of the outcomes of higher education and recommended the introduction of a structured contribution from employers as a core element of future funding for higher education.  A copy of the Expert Group report is available: Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education

In order to deliver on this ambition, the Minister for Education and Skills and the Minister for Public Expenditure Reform have agreed that a proposed increase in the National Training Fund should be considered in relation to the funding needs of both the higher education and further education and training sectors. 

The aims are to deliver a skilled and educated workforce to employers, to maintain and to strengthen the economy’s growth potential and deliver benefits to society as a whole.

The Ministers have launched a public consultation process on the proposal following a commitment to do so made as part of Budget 2017.  The joint consultation paper can be viewed here Proposed Exchequer-Employer Investment Mechanism for Higher Education and Further Education and Training.

This consultation process is part of a suite of measures which are intended to develop a sustainable long-term funding model for the higher education and further education and training sectors which will help to drive continued reform, quality and performance improvement: 

  • Increased funding for higher education of €160 million was announced in Budget 2017.
  • The Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills is currently considering the Expert report including hearing the views of key stakeholders.
  • The Department of Education and Skills is progressing work on the technical aspects of any potential student loan scheme.
  • A review is being conducted by an independent expert panel of the current higher education funding allocation model. The panel is expected to present interim findings by the end of April 2017.

While the consultation process is targeted in the first instance at key industry and employer stakeholders, comments are also invited from individual members of the public, groups or organisations.  Comments may be submitted to the Departments of Education and Skills and Public Expenditure and Reform to the email address:

or, by post to John McDermott, Higher Education Funding and Governance Section, Department of Education and Skills, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 RC96.

The deadline for receipt of comments is 5 p.m. onThursday 13th April 2017.

The Departments may seek follow-up discussions on foot of comments received where this is deemed appropriate.

Please note that responses to this invitation to submit comments will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (further details are available at in which case particular information exempt under the Act, such as personal contact details, may be omitted. As this is a public consultation submissions may in any event be published on the department’s website and by submitting comments you are indicating your consent to this approach and waiving your anonymity.