Former education minister Ruairi Quinn to teach at Trinity

news1College is in the process of approving former Labour party leader Ruairi Quinn to teach an elective module as part of two postgraduate courses offered by the School of Business, Trinity News has learned.

Quinn confirmed the news and told this paper on Monday that he was approached by Brian Lucey, a professor in finance, with a view to heading a week-long intensive course that would focus on the formation of the single European currency. Students in the Masters in Finance and Masters in International Management degrees will have the option to take it.

In correspondence with Trinity News, Brian Lucey said that while “nothing is yet approved by College … I can’t see any major issue.”

Quinn, who recently resigned from his role in cabinet as minister for education amid much opposition from teaching unions to proposed reforms to the Junior Certificate, was previously minister for finance during the period when the single European surrency was being devised and served as president of the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council. When questioned as to what had particularly attracted him to Quinn, Lucey responded, “Who wouldn’t want that experience involved in their school?”

Alongside the core curriculum, postgraduate students in the business school take a number of electives. However, Lucey refused to comment on financial arrangements when asked whether he would receive a payment for the module and said that the former minister will be treated the “same as any other external module-deliverer – no more, no less.”

Quinn told Trinity News that he is looking forward to returning to academia after previously lecturing part-time in architecture, which he said he found “very rewarding and stimulating.” He was non-committal about whether he would pursue academia on a full-time basis after politics. When asked, considering his most recent professional experience is in education policy, whether he would ever be interested in lecturing on that topic, Quinn said that, while he would be, he is conscious of appearing as though he is “pontificating while my successor is involved in carrying out reforms.”

While the course itself will only last one week, Quinn indicated that there will be considerable preparation work, so depending on when the next general election is called – which must be no later than April of next year – he may have to combine that workload with his role as a TD.