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University chief says current Government funding per student remains 43% below where it was 10 years ago

Jim Miley said that State funding per student remains 43% below where it was 10 years ago.

Image: Shutterstock/ABO PHOTOGRAPHY

THE DIRECTOR GENERAL of the Irish Universities Association (IUA) has told the Oireachtas Committee for Budgetary Oversight that the funding problem facing third level institutions will get “considerably worse” unless there is a significant step-up in investment to support the growing number of students. 

Jim Miley, in opening remarks to the committee today, said that despite funding increases in the last two budgets, the State funding per student remains 43% below where it was 10 years ago.

“The recent increases have been largely mopped up by rising student numbers. Given demographics, numbers attending third level will continue to increase over the next decade with 40,000 extra students to be catered for by 2030 as compared with 2015,” he said.

The IUA presented its pre-budget submission to the committee today. In making the case for investment in core and capital funding and in research and innovation, the IUA points to the €9 billion that the universities contribute to the Irish economy each year. The universities are seeking an investment package totaling €377m in Budget 2020 to cover critical core funding requirements, research and urgent capital investment needs.

Miley added: “The requirement for significantly increased investment is now urgent. As a society, we cannot stand over any deterioration in our third level system. It would erode our competitiveness at a time when we need to invest in our future talent to compete globally. Politicians of all hues must take responsibility for addressing this imperative.”

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