The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde has told an audience at DCU that the "external shocks" affecting economies were also having an impact in the field of education.

Yesterday, Ms Lagarde said that despite a remarkable economic growth, Ireland had to prepare for international shocks

Speaking to an audience of several hundred people at The Helix, Ms Lagarde said this meant education needed to be approached in a different way.

She said that it would require more lifelong cycles of education, and new fields of learning would have to be developed.

"We can't produce the same graduates and PhDs as we did years ago," she said.

There was applause when Ms Lagarde said that public spending on research would be "a good idea".

But she said third level funding could not only be about public financing. Those institutions and companies who benefitted should participate in the funding as well, she said.

Ms Lagarde told the audience, which included business people and academics, that the trade of the future would be e-data.

However, the IMF chief said that there were issues that needed to be dealt with.

She said the issue of privacy, how does one "own, licence, protect, and consent" to the use of data, had to be addressed.

Ms Lagarde said another issue was how to apply competition laws in the area.