|27 April 2012|
Higher Education Strategy For NI Launches
|Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry today addressed members of the Assembly to launch 'Graduating to Success - A Higher Education Strategy for Northern Ireland'.|
Highlighting the growing importance of higher education in ensuring the future economic prosperity of Northern Ireland the Minister said:
"Higher education plays a pivotal role in creating a sustainable, knowledge based economy and shared society in Northern Ireland. I am therefore committed to ensuring that there is a clear strategic direction for the future of higher education in Northern Ireland.
"This direction is captured and developed in my Departmentís Higher Education Strategy which I am publishing today.
"My Department's vision for higher education is one which is vibrant and of international calibre; which pursues excellence in teaching and research; which plays a pivotal role in the development of a modern, sustainable knowledge-based economy; which supports a confident, shared society; and which recognises and values diversity.
"In achieving our vision for higher education, by 2020, the higher education sector will be more responsive to the needs of the economy. It will provide higher quality learning and become more accessible. It will also support a flexible, lifelong learning environment.
"Ultimately, through the delivery of this vision I am confident that the higher education sector maintains and builds upon the key role it plays in providing not only a world-class teaching and learning environment but also in securing the future economic prosperity of Northern Ireland and its people."
Recognising the important role that higher education plays in contributing to the local economy, the Minister said: "Graduating to Success will ensure that the higher education sector helps to meet the skills needs of the economy through the provision of high quality graduates; through upskilling and reskilling the current and future workforce; through the pursuit of excellence in research and development, knowledge transfer and university-business collaboration.
"Our people are our greatest asset; we must ensure that they are able to achieve their full potential."
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