Investing in People: In the 1960s Ireland had a small élite system of higher education based mainly on four university colleges. A generation later it had a well-developed system of mass higher education. This is the story of how the transformation was accomplished. Contact with OECD and the introduction of economic planning in the 1960s influenced ministers and the Department of Education to take an initiative in third-level education. The outcome was that the state almost accidentally undertook a social engineering project, and through new regional technical colleges and two national institutes of higher education, built up technological and vocational education outside the universities. A further stage came in the 1980s when the Industrial Development Authority involved the universities in its drive to build up high added-value industry. The increased provision of higher education has positioned the Irish state well for an age where information and developed brainpower have become key ingredients for any modern society aspiring to economic growth and wealth creation. In economic terms the Irish education experiment appears to have paid off. This book tracks the ebb and flow of higher education policy over a forty year period with particular emphasis on non-university higher education. Dr. White looks at the implications of the explosion in numbers going to college, examines how the Irish experience compares with other countries and speculates on the nature of the problems ahead. Higher education now plays a central role in the personal development of most young Irish adults. This book is the first to provide a comprehensive study of the origins and growth of mass higher education in the Republic of Ireland.