Funding crisis puts third level in danger
by Diarmaid Mac a Bhaird

A shortfall in funding is putting Ireland’s higher education “in danger,” according to Thomas Estermann, the director of governance and funding at the European Universities Association (IUA).


Mr Estermann recently told an event organised by the Irish Universities Association that our higher education system had received insufficient funding over the past ten years, despite a limited increase in investment since 2016.


Fórsa been campaigning for increased funding in the higher education sector in recent years. Among other things, the union wants a reversal of crisis-era staffing cuts among clerical and administrative staff and non-teaching grades in institutes of technology.


Staffing for these grades have fallen considerably since 2008, even though the number of students in third level education has risen by around 25% in the same period.


Fórsa recently hosted a meeting of the Coalition for Publicly Funded Higher Education, which brings together stakeholders including trade unions, the USI, and other student and staff representative bodies, to call for increased investment in the sector, primarily from public funding.

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