28 Sep 2021

AONTAS Pre-Budget Submission 2022

AONTAS has today published a Pre-Budget Submission 2022: An Inclusive Recovery for All. The submission focuses on lessons from the pandemic and how they can be used to create and equitable Tertiary education system (TES).

Read the full submission here.

As we now enter a new era recovering from COVID-19, it is vital that the lessons learned throughout the pandemic do not go unheeded. Inequalities and disadvantages that were exacerbated will not automatically dissipate or improve as time moves on. We cannot afford to regress to how things were pre-COVID nor can we be complacent in addressing the heightened issues that have arisen. Many reactive measures that have been put in place as stopgaps, must now be evolved and integrated within a more durable, flexible and sustainable model of funding to create long lasting, meaningful change.

In this submission we capture some of the learning from COVID-19 specifically in relation to educational equality. AONTAS welcomes the opportunity to put forward a pre-budget submission for 2022, and argues that urgent action is required to address the specific impact this crisis has had on disadvantaged individuals and communities. We must also proactively build the infrastructure required to create a brighter future than previously known.

This submission makes 15 recommendations across three key areas covering:

1. the needs of adult learners;

2. the requirements of the community education sector;

3. and changes needed within the tertiary education system structure.

We offer recommendations on how to fiscally address the deep-seated issues compromising the integrity of adult and community education in Ireland.