The latest THE rankings simply confirm the decline already evidenced in the QS league table. The position is well summed up by THE’s Phil Baty: “Ireland is one of the lowest investors in higher education among all OECD countries and you simply cannot sustain world-class universities on the cheap.”
While rankings are only one perspective on the standing of universities, a more comprehensive picture is presented by the OECD whose data is drawn from national governments themselves. The latest OECD Education review shows that Ireland has the dubious distinction of being unique in the degree to which it has matched rising student numbers with falling funding during the period since 2008.
In light of this, the universities have called for an urgent injection of €75 million in current and €30 million in capital funding in the upcoming Budget.
IUA Chair, Professor Don Barry said: “as university leaders, we have a clear vision. We want to deliver the best possible educational experience for our students. To achieve this, we need to reverse the austerity era cutbacks in staffing and allow us to provide smaller class sizes, more practical and project work, and better pastoral care of our students.
This vision is consistent with the very ambitious plan for Education recently launched by the government. Aspiration must now be matched by investment and the upcoming budget represents the opportunity to do this.”
 See OECD Education at a Glance 2016