Loans and top-up charges could solve funding issue

“Imposing third- level fees alone could be problematic. But there may be a better way. Given the importance of higher education for our prosperity, it is surprising that government investment has failed to keep pace with the growth in student numbers and international comparators. Earlier this year, UCD President Dr Hugh Brady and Trinity College Provost Dr John Hegarty highlighted the need for increased investment to meet the challenges ahead. Our growing economic vulnerability reinforces the presidents’ case. It is clear that the parlous state of the country’s finances requires corrective action. However, the current “blunt instrument” approach to cutbacks has the potential to do lasting damage to both our university system and our overall economic competitiveness …” (more)

[Ned Costello, Irish Times, 23 September]

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