Students’ welfare is at risk as funding cuts of €550m bite

Posted in Governance and administration on February 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Student welfare services in third-level colleges are “overburdened” as a result of Government cuts to funding and day-to-day running costs, now €550m less than in 2007. The strain is among concerns raised at recent meetings of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) about how long the system has to wait before the funding issue will be sorted …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 February]

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At Funding-Heavy Third-Level Debate, More Squabbles than Solutions

Posted in Governance and administration on February 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Political discussions about higher education, it seems, are a bit like buses: you wait ages for one and then suddenly you have politicians and stakeholders in the same room, publicly debating how best to tackle the sector’s many issues …” (more)

[University Times, 2 February]

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Emergency cash injection needed for higher education during 2020, says IFUT

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has called for allocation of an emergency cash injection for higher education during 2020 to address the escalating crisis in resources. ‘It must be a priority for any incoming government’, IFUT General Secretary, Joan Donegan said …” (more)

[IFUT, 30 January]

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Country ‘sitting on a timebomb’ over crisis in third-level funding, says Trinity Provost

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The third-level sector is currently underfunded, and a system of student loans should not be introduced, each of the major parties’ spokespeople on education agree. However, the parties remain divided on how best to address such a funding deficit, identified in the landmark Cassells report, first published in 2016 …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 28 January]

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Few Revelatory Moments in Tetchy Higher Education Debate

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Higher education’s Cassells report came under scrutiny this afternoon at a third-level education debate held in Trinity, with politicians of all hues quarreling over funding during a debate that saw more arguments about figures and statistics than on the ideas underpinning the future of the sector …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, Sárán Fogarty, Ciaran Molloy and Emer Moreau, University Times, 28 January]

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Minister admits need for increased funding as parties debate future of higher education

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Representatives from six of Ireland’s main political parties clashed over the future of higher education at a debate held in Trinity today, with significant attention given to the balance between a system funded by taxation or by student fees and the current Fine Gael government’s allocations to higher education, which Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said were larger than suggested by other parties but conceded that the sector still required ‘extra funding …” (more)

[Lauren Boland and Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 28 January]

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Third-level timebomb must become a election priority

Posted in Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“‘Crisis, what crisis?’ Three words that helped bring down Jim Callaghan’s Labour government in the 1979 UK general election. The prime minister never actually uttered these words. A Sun subeditor fashioned the headline but it captured the popular impression of an administration unaware of a serious state of affairs which had caught up with it …” (more)

[Lorna Fitzpatrick, Joseph Ryan and Jim Miley, Irish Times, 23 January]

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Fianna Fáil Would Maintain €3,000 College Fee in Government

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil has pledged an extra €100 million a year in core funding for higher education, but refused to commit to any of the three options outlined in the 2016 Cassells report. The party is also promising a 20% increase in undergraduate state grants, a restoration of postgraduate grants and the maintenance of fees at their current level, Fianna Fáil education spokesperson Thomas Byrne said at a press briefing this morning …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 23 January]

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General Election 2020 – Five Steps to Revive Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 21st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“IFUT calls on all parties forming the next government to adopt the following as part of the Programme for Government: 1. Phase out student fees and revise the grant system to address the excessive costs for so many in, or contemplating entering, Higher Education …” (more)

[IFUT, 20 January]

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How Cassells Might Actually be Keeping Third-Level Away From Election Spotlight

Posted in Governance and administration on January 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“We’re now a week into the general election campaign, and certain trends have started to emerge. Retirement age and policing have been the subject of hostile debates between the biggest parties, while health and housing have predictably loomed large over proceedings. Meanwhile, the stock of education – particularly at third-level – has rarely felt lower, despite the plethora of areas within the sector that desperately need addressing …” (more)

[University Times, 19 January]

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Third Level Funding – Cassells Report

Posted in Governance and administration on November 20th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a commitment has not been given to address the future funding of third level education; the further reason no response has been given on the Cassells report since it was first published three years ago; the representations he has made to the European Commission regarding its decision on funding options; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 19 November]

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No Higher Education Funding Plans to be Ready for Next Election

Posted in Governance and administration on November 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The government is unlikely propose any firm policies for higher education funding in an upcoming general election, after instead appointing a group of financial management consultants on a 12-month contract to examine the best way forward for the sector …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 18 November]

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Minister Joe McHugh accused of having ‘no vision or direction’ for third-level funding shortages

Posted in Governance and administration on November 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister Joe McHugh has been accused of stonewalling an Oireachtas Committee for a year-and-a-half on the future of third-level education. The chair of the Education Committee has said the funding crisis at third-level is being ignored by the Government, which has yet to start value-for-money report on the three proposed funding options for higher education …” (more)

[Elaine Loughlin,, 11 November]

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IFUT Demands Action on Cassells After Third-Level Inequalities Revealed

Posted in Governance and administration on October 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has demanded that the government act on the findings of the Cassells report after recent research carried out by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) showed that just one in ten third-level students come from disadvantaged backgrounds …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 22 October]

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Budget Day has become Groundhog Day for third level funding

Posted in Governance and administration on October 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“For anyone interested in the sustained funding of third level education in Ireland, Budget Day has become more like Groundhog Day. 1,183 days before last week’s Budget, the Cassells Report identified the funding challenges facing our higher education system and set out the scale of the investment required to deliver on our national ambition …” (more)

[Jim Miley, Trinity News, 13 October]

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€74 million increase in funding for higher education in Budget 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on October 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“An increase in investment of €74 million for higher education has been announced by the Finance Minister Paschal Donohue in today’s budget statement. The additional funding will be provided by a 0.1% increase to the National Training Fund, a levy on employers …” (more)

[Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 8 October]

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Students used as ‘pawns’ in Trinity College funding row

Posted in Governance and administration on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students are being used as pawns in a university’s row with the Government over the effect of insufficient funding on international rankings, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has claimed. USI president Lorna Fitzpatrick said third-level education is underfunded and colleges are forced to compete with each other for project-based funding …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 23 September]

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Provost in favour of student loan scheme

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The provost, Patrick Prendergast, has said that he is now in favour of an ‘income-contingent student loan scheme’ as his preferred option proposed in the Cassells report to plug the gap in third-level education funding. The provost made this announcement in an interview with the Sunday Business Post where he also warned that Trinity may have to cut student numbers to improve its position in the global rankings …” (more)

[Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 22 September]

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Mary O’Rourke: ‘Fund universities and colleges – for the sake of all our futures’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“August means so many different things to so many people. For those of a literary bent, one can point to the delicious long-ago novel by Edna O’Brien, August is a Wicked Month. Of course, to many it is the month of holidays, particularly schoolchildren who this week are facing the familiar feeling of going back to school after weeks of freedom …” (more)

[Independent, 25 August]

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Grant not intended to cover full college cost – Minister of State

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The SUSI grant was never intended to cover the full cost of college, the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Higher Education has said. Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Mary Mitchell O’Connor also ruled out a proposal by the incoming President of the National Parents Council Post Primary that the Government could act as co-guarantor for loans that parents have to take out to cover the cost of their children’s third-level education …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 14 August]

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