main areas of government expenditure, namely education and particularly on third level education

The national budget is always an area that generates massive speculation and criticism in equal measures. This project will focus on the latest Budget (Budget 2016) announced 13th of October 2015. The project will focus on one of the main areas of government expenditure, namely education and particularly on third level education . This project should be solely based on Ireland.

Each project should have a good structure

1. Introduction

2. Budget 2016 is an expansionary Budget and includes a number of taxation decreases and government expenditure increases. Briefly outline one taxation change and one government expenditure change outlined in Budget 2016 that you agree or disagree with. Outline why you agree/disagree with these changes.

3. If your group were advisors to the Minister for Finance this year, review (i) one different taxation change (ii) one different expenditure change that you would introduce to either increase economic growth or equity in Ireland? Review how each policy would achieve this goal and how it would be financed?

4. Do you think Budget 2016 would been significantly different or not if the General Election was not due early next year, if so how? If your group were political advisors to either government party and your top priority was to win the General Election 2016, would this change either of policies your group outlined in part (3) of the project above, if so how?

5. Free third level tuition fees were introduced in Ireland in 1995/96. Free Tuition fees is no tuition fees and no registration fees. In light of the recent large increase in the registration fees: Consider the two possible approaches the government could take into the future to finance third level education

(a) Re-introduction of free third level fees paid for through higher taxation
(b) Third Level Students pay the true economic cost of €10,000 upwards per year and introduction of a student loan system and reorganisation of student grant system

Briefly outline which of these two approaches your group would favour and why?

6. The following include some of the most underrepresented groups in terms of third level participation in Ireland in 2015
(a) mature students
(b) travellers
(c) people with a disability
(d) People from socio disadvantaged backgrounds
(e) immigrants

Choose ANY ONE of the underrepresented groups listed above. Carry out two or more interview(s) or discussions with persons with personnel/professional knowledge of one of above underrepresented groups . This could include people are members of the above groups that is mature students or travellers or people with a disability or people from socio disadvantaged backgrounds or immigrants. The interview topic is low third level participation of this underrepresented group. Write a summary of the interview findings including what new information your group learned from carrying out the interviews. Place the transcripts including interviewees’ contact details at the back of the project. (Each group must interview different people and you should not share interviewees)

7. Brief conclusion: could include your groups’ own insights, policy recommendations and ideas about any of the Budget or/and the Education Sector topics discussed in the project.