Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson on Education Paul Gavan has strongly criticised the Governments failure to increase the core funding to Third Level Institutions.
Senator Gavan said;
“The current funding crisis in Higher Level institutions has been well flagged in last few years.
“Our Higher Education system needs significant investment of core funding to stand still, and catch up on years of underinvestment.
“This budget has failed both staff and students that are the key stakeholders of Third Level education in this state.
“The Break the Barriers campaign by the USI demonstrated students are at their wits end.
“The Institutions themselves have pointed to this impending crisis.
“It was reported only last week that Trinity are considering reducing the numbers of students coming through the CAO system by 25% over the next couple of years; further relying on income taken in from international students.
“If sustained and significant investment in third level education does not happen, then this will be replicated elsewhere, and more and more students will have the door shut to third level shut on them.
“The issue at play for most colleges is that they are chronically underfunded, and that higher education in this state requires substantial investment.
“Access to education is already an issue for many, and a failure to fund it will only impact future generations.
Sinn Féin would invest €36 million in core funding next year and reduce the student contribution by €500 next year.”