University Presidents Surprised by Fees Decision – Statement

The seven university Presidents expressed their surprise at the statement in the Renewed Programme that the Government will not proceed with any new scheme of student contribution, given the need to invest in higher education and stimulate economic growth.

The IUA (Irish Universities Association) has stressed the need for a better balance between individual and public contributions in the funding of higher education. This view is based on factors such as the considerable financial gains that accrue to graduates, the need to generate additional resources to widen access to universities, and the international data which shows our system to be underfunded, largely due to its excessive dependence on central government.

The Presidents welcomed the commitments in the Renewed Programme for Government to the development of the education system overall and to the smart economy: “Innovation Ireland”. “The achievement of the programme’s goals in this respect will be hugely dependent on the quality of our universities and the graduates and postgraduates we produce,” they said. “The priority accorded to education and innovation in the Renewed Programme needs to be reflected in realistic levels of investment in the sector, whatever its source”, they said.

Ends

For further information contact: Lia O’Sullivan, Communications Manager, Irish Universities Association. Telephone: 01 6764948, 085 7141414. Email: lia.osullivan@iua.ie