OECD Higher Education Policy in Ireland

C.H.I.U. welcomes the clear and unequivocal message from the OECD briefing that Irish universities are underfunded and that they need increased investment.

C.H.I.U. welcomes OECD confirmation of the case they have been making for the last two years that Irish universities are underfunded. The OECD finding justifies C.H.I.U. criticism of the government decision to cut university funding by 10% in 2004.

The OECD makes the judgement that the levels of increased investment required are of such a scale that the state alone will not be able to afford them and that fees will have to be introduced to make up the shortfall.

The bottom line for universities is that they need investment levels commensurate with the internationally competitive standards of services and programmes they are expected to deliver. The OECD has pointed one way forward on how this increased investment can be provided. It is time that the issues raised, because of their importance to national development, received the rational deliberation and debate they deserve.

Decisions eventually taken should be evidence-based and not driven by short-term political reactions. C.H.I.U. will be happy to contribute to considered discussion of the OECD recommendations.

Michael McGrath
Director, C.H.I.U.
Tel: 087-2837687