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Tuesday 21 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C

# Simon Harris

Last year
# Simon Harris
Simon Harris has tested positive for Covid-19
The higher education minister confirmed in an Instagram post that he had tested positive on an antigen test.
# nphet
NPHET recommend end to mandatory mask-wearing in education, public transport and school settings
Public health officials advised the government of the move following a meeting today.
# severe morning sickness
Health Minister insists State won't reimburse cost of drug to treat severe pregnancy sickness
When Stephen Donnelly was in Opposition he told Simon Harris that the drug called Cariban should be available on the drugs payment scheme.
# drugs in college
Cocaine now the second-most common drug used by third-level students, new report shows
Cannabis remains the most common drug, but cocaine displaced ecstasy to take the second place spot.
# Paid leave
Several Irish universities commit to introducing domestic abuse leave policy for staff in 2022
Trinity College, UCC, UCD and DCU have all committed to introducing the policies in 2022,
All time
# omicron
NPHET to brief coalition party leaders this evening
The meeting this evening takes place prior to NPHET’s meeting on Thursday.
# Opinion Poll
Harris says next election result is not inevitable as poll shows SF 15 points clear of FF, FG
A recent opinion poll put Sinn Féin as the most popular party in the country.
# Separation of Powers
Chief Scientific Adviser's dual role to be 'decoupled' following concerns over independence
Minister Simon Harris announced a public consultation on science advice will take place early next year.
# spiked
Campaign to raise awareness around spiking to be launched, says minister
Minister Simon Harris says there have been a number of cases in the UK that are concerning.
# student options
There's a 'national obsession' with the points race, says Harris highlighting CAO changes
The new enhanced CAO website now includes Further Education and Apprenticeship options.
# trinity college dublin
Uncertain future of Dublin's Science Gallery to be discussed next week
News emerged this week that the gallery is set to close its doors for good in February.
New technological university announced for the north west
Galway-Mayo, Sligo and Letterkenny institutes of technology are to combine to become a Technical University.
# speak out
New tool allows higher education students to anonymously report sexual harassment and violence
The Speak Out tool will be launched across 18 universities this academic year.
# vaccination week
Pop-up vaccination centres to be extended on college campuses
The pop-up centres were established across 15 higher education sites two weeks ago as part of Vaccination Week.
# Coronavirus
Taoiseach: 'It's not a case of pressing the panic button'
It follow concerns from NPHET about the spread of Covid-19.
# New York
Families and children of public figures are 'not fair game', says minister
Coveney said he was not sure whether legislation to tackle protests at the homes of politicians would be possible.
# new baby
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris and wife announce birth of baby boy
The Taoiseach congratulated Harris and his wife Caoimhe on the arrival of their second child.
# Rumours
Varadkar says SF TD who named Harris as leaker has no evidence and was just repeating a rumour
Matt Carthy accused Minister Simon Harris of leaking from Cabinet.
TD Matt Carthy claims a junior Fine Gael minister operated a 'sting operation' to uncover the leaker
Minister Simon Harris says Carthy's claims are untrue
Harris says he will 'consider very strongly" reporting the Carthy to the Oireachtas Committee on Procedure and Privileges
Opinion: If the way we live and work after Covid can be reformed, why not education too?
It’s an ideal time to reform the Irish educational system, writes Emma DeSouza.
# Points Race
Higher education minister questions if Leaving Cert is ‘right way to go’
Simon Harris said the points race for third level places is ‘not the international norm’.
# Education
Harris to seek government approval for 4,600 extra college places for upcoming semester
There has been a significant increase in demand for college places this year.
# College
Staff and students urged to sign up for pilot antigen testing project on four college campuses
Testing will involve volunteers providing saliva samples twice weekly.
# Higher Education
Simon Harris says the pandemic has been particularly hard for college students - but next year will be different
CMO Dr Tony Holohan has endorsed the return to college campuses in the coming academic year.
# cabinet plans
Landlords will not be allowed to demand in excess of two months’ rent upfront under new rules, including from student renters
Covid-19 protections for renters have been extended for another six months until 12 January 2022.
Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien brought a memo to Cabinet today that will restrict upfront payment demands made by landlords, reports Political Correspondent Christina Finn
The new rules, which will be in place before the next academic year, will ensure that students only have to pay one months' rent at a time.
Cabinet has also extended the current Covid-19 protections for renters until January 2022.
Protections for renters impacted by Covid-19 to be extended beyond 12 July
Landlords can impose rent increases of up to 8% under newly-discovered loophole as Covid-19 rent freeze ends
# Midlands
Limerick IT and Athlone IT merge to form new technological university
AIT President Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin described today’s announcement as a “historic day” for the region.
# Apprenticeship
Employers will be paid more to take on women or lone parents as apprentices
Additional money will also be given to businesses that take on people with a disability, or are from direct provision as apprentices.
# hotel quarantine
Hotel quarantine bookings 'paused' by Department of Health in order to ramp up capacity
No bookings are available on the State’s mandatory hotel quarantine site until next Monday.
Rapid testing to be piloted in four universities, says minister
Antigen testing on construction sites will begin in a matter of weeks, say sources.
# Third Level
Reform needed on Leaving Certificate and CAO application, says higher education minister
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said he intends to “overhaul” the CAO application form next year.
# Coronavirus
Harris says Ireland will continue 'to look everywhere and anywhere' to ramp up vaccine supply
Separately, there were were 420 patients in hospital with Covid-19 last night.
# Higher Education
CAO system set to be overhauled as government plans to ramp up apprenticeship numbers
At present the CAO doesn’t include applications for apprenticeships, or some further education traineeships.
# preliminary inquiries
Varadkar tells gardaí he is willing to meet with them over GP contract leak
Gardaí are currently assessing correspondence that has been received over the leaking of the contract.
# Special Needs
Deputy CMO insists school closures should be 'last resort' only after criticism from special needs teachers
Talks are continuing with unions about the reopening of schools for students with special educational needs.
# Pay increase
Harris says it's 'important' Oireachtas gets opportunity to scrutinise salary hike for new Dept of Health Sec Gen
Questions have been raised about the government’s decision to sanction a pay rise of €81,000 for the post.
# Unemployed
Looking to upskill or retrain? New online portal launched for the unemployed, businesses and employees
Those on the PUP can sign up to courses without losing their payment.
# vaccine plan
Government plans to have almost 4 million people vaccinated by end of September, says Donnelly
Varadkar says between 50,000 and 55,000 people will be vaccinated this week.
# still waiting
Department of Health can't give timeline for rollout of publicly-funded IVF
Expert says linking IVF funding with the commencement of legislation is a ‘way of putting it off’.
Creation of new Munster Technological University an 'important milestone' for south west
Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee have joined together to become the Munster Technological University (MTU).
# Universities
Simon Harris warns universities over sexual harassment cases as he speaks of increased funding
Harris said Irish institutions needed to do more to tackle sexual harassment.
# every contact counts
Government monitoring case numbers but no restrictions on the cards this side of Christmas
Those in government circles are looking at the rise in cases in Europe, stating that Germany is a worrying example.