Taoiseach & Ministers Announce €11.9 billion Investment in Education

September 16, 2018 0

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D., the Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D., the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. and the Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan T.D announced on Friday the 14th of September a major package of investment in education under Project Ireland 2040, the government’s €116 billion investment and development plan for the next decade.  The announcement was made at Coláiste Ghlor na Mara in Balbriggan.

This major investment will underpin the implementation of the Action Plan for Education, led by Minister Bruton, which is the government’s plan to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.

Education is central to achieving the Government’s overall objectives under Project Ireland 2040- a strong, future-proofed economy, balanced across the regions and a fair society. Education is the engine behind strong national and regional development, delivering the future skill needs of our economy. It is also essential to breaking down barriers and enabling people to fulfill their full potential.

Project Ireland 2040 provides for a €11.9 billion investment in the education and training sector over the period 2018 to 2027. This will deliver:

  • A 70% increase in schools capital funding compared to the past decade (€4.9 billion to €8.4 billion). Investment will rise to €1 billion in 2027, compared to €540 million investment in 2018.
  • A close to trebling of the Higher Education sector capital budget compared to the past decade (€0.8 billion to €2.2 billion). This will result in an annual average investment of circa. €300 million in the second half of the Project Ireland 2040 period compared to the €30 million investment in 2018.
  • A new dedicated capital budget line for the Further Education and Training sector of €300 million for the 10 year Project Ireland 2040 period.

Announcing this further investment under the Project Ireland 2040, an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. said,

“Project Ireland 2040 represents a significant shift in how we as a country plan for our future development. We are taking a much longer term view and linking investment with planning for the first time ever. In the education sector, that means we’re significantly increasing the amount we invest in our schools, colleges and universities. For example, we’ll be boosting the school building budget by 70% over the next ten years and trebling our investment in higher education.

“I am particularly pleased that we’ll be investing in PE halls – modernising old ones and building new ones – to ensure all post primary students can use state of the art PE facilities. This will be especially important as we phase in PE as a Leaving Cert exam subject. Education doesn’t just drive economic success, it’s also crucial to giving everyone the opportunity to fulfil their full potential, in all parts of the country. This ambitious and unprecedented level of investment – almost €12 billion – in our education sector will ensure our this generation of children and the next get the best possible start in life”