Minister McHugh has made clear that Fine Gael and the Government will not introduce student loans and will not increase fees. So, that tells us what the Minister will not do, we now need to hear what he and Fine Gael will do to solve the long-accepted funding crisis.
The IUA would welcome a firm indication of what the Minister means by the “ultimate solution coming from the autonomy of the third level colleges”.
Universities are prepared to play their part and have already taken as much action as they can within the current restrictions, though large scale cost reductions and by generating extra income through a variety of means including industry partnerships, philanthropy and international students.”
However, the fact is that state funding per student has fallen 43% or €4000 per student over the last decade. It’s time for positive solutions on funding for tuition and education by the Minister and the government.
The IUA has made a comprehensive pre-budget submission which sets out the scale of the challenge faced by the sector and recommendations on how to address this. The submission is available here.