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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Education Minister Abdicates His Responsibility To Tackle Third Level Funding Crisis – Byrne

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

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has said the Minister for Education must not be allowed to wait for the next Government to tackle the tumbling ratings of Ireland’s Universities. Deputy Byrne was speaking following comments made by Minister McHugh where he stated that the Government will not act to address the crisis in higher education in this Dáil …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 14 August]

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Third-level funding reform scrapped until after election due to lack of Dáil majority

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

Ireland“Plans to tackle the funding crisis in Ireland’s third-level institutions are being scrapped until after the next election as the Government insists the sector already receives significant amounts of taxpayers’ money. Despite universities warning that nearly €140m in extra funding is needed to cater for rising student numbers, the Government signalled yesterday it would not move on the three-year-old Cassells report, which lays out options for the future funding of the sector …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Independent, 14 August]

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Education Minister: Composition of Government makes it difficult to make fundamental changes to third level education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Joe McHugh has defended the government’s delay in implementing the Cassells report saying that it is ‘very difficult to get business through parliament because of the weakness of this government’. ‘I think it will take a new composition government to bring a big fundamental change around this’, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland …” (more)

[, 13 August]

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Provost Patrick Prendergast has argued that ‘a system that has a mixture of public and private funding is the best’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Provost Patrick Prendergast has warned that higher education could become a ‘crisis issue’ if the government fails to invest in the sector soon, arguing that loans schemes ‘should be investigated further’ as universities battle intractable financial problems …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 12 August]

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Universities Round on Joe McHugh After Government Fee Promise

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Irish universities have rounded on Minister for Education Joe McHugh after he pledged not to increase student fees in the next five years, calling for ‘positive solutions on funding’ from the government. In a statement released this afternoon, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said that McHugh’s promise not to increase fees beyond €3,000, made in an interview with the Sunday Independent, ‘tells us what the Minister will not do’ …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 12 August]

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Higher Education Crisis a Risk to Economy, says Government Report

Posted in Governance and administration on August 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The ongoing funding crisis in higher education poses a risk to Ireland’s future, according to a new report published by the government. First published in 2014, the annual national risk assessment identifies geopolitical, economic, social, environmental and technological risks that Ireland faces …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 7 August]

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