Cash-starved universities in crisis – Analysis, Opinion – Independent.ie
Cash-starved universities in crisis: The Government has to put money where its mouth is on funding for third level, writes Daniel McConnell
…a world-class education system requires considerable funding, and the 8 per cent cuts insisted upon by Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe do nothing but damage Ireland’s ability to compete internationally.
The total budget for the seven universities from the Government is €1.765bn this year in current spending, with about €141m for capital development. Compare this to the $3.7bn budget for Harvard in 2009, and we see in stark terms how off the pace we are in terms of funding.
The cuts will mean that we will lose ground on our main competitors, and many within UCD and TCD fear much of the progress made in moving up the international league tables will be undone.
Indeed, the current squeeze on funding has led to many at top level of UCD and Trinity to fear that they will see an exodus of their top lecturing staff, further damaging Ireland’s standing.
Where is the money to come from? It can’t be the taxpayer. The only logical alternatives are endowments (which our universities have little enough of) or fees. If fees, then what is the mechanism?