In an unprecedented move, unions representing students and teaching staff have joined forces with the representative bodies of universities and institutes of technology to call on the government to respond to the growing crisis in higher education funding.
In this first ever such move, students, staff and the higher education institutions have come together to warn the government that continued delay in addressing the deficit in third level funding is no longer acceptable to them.
The statement says that Department of Education and Skills has accepted the findings of the detailed analysis of the scale of the funding deficit that was carried out by various expert groups on their behalf.
The joint statement requested an immediate move by Government to address the funding crisis in Budget 2019 or risk an irreversible slide in the quality of the third level system.
The statement continues: “They clearly know what the problem is; now, they need to start fixing it. If urgent action is not taken, there’s a real risk that today’s 7 and 8-year old primary school students will not have sufficient college places available to them in 2030 when the demographic bulge peaks with an additional 40,000 students seeking to access third level.”