Select Page
This content was first published 7 years ago and may be superseded by events or new information. Please bear this in mind when evaluating this news article.

News Release
Release: 11/03/2015
Immediate Release

Union of Students in Ireland to hold seminar on publicly funded higher education

The Union of Students in Ireland will host a breakfast seminar on publicly funded higher education at the Department of Education and Skills on Thursday 12th March.

The seminar, which will begin at 9.00am, will hear from students, second level students, researchers into economic and social policy and an international expert on higher education funding.

Speaking in advance of the event, USI President Laura Harmon said:

“The USI has a long standing policy advocating for public investment in higher education. Education is a public good and the bedrock for the development of a sustainable economy and a vibrant society.

Students in Ireland and their families are already paying through the nose for higher education, and pay the second highest fees in Europe. Student supports have been savagely cut over the last decade.

Ireland now has over 165,000 students in full-time higher education – up by 40% since 2002. This figure is heading towards 200,000 by 2025. – yet public investment has not kept pace with the growth in student numbers, falling by 20% per student in the past decade. The system is grossly underfunded and deeply needs increased public investment.

She continued “Loan schemes and graduate taxes don’t work – they simply saddle graduates with enormous debts at the start of their careers.  Graduate taxes can easily be seen as an invitation to emigrate.

Places like Denmark and Germany, which offer high quality courses in English, funded publicly, are becoming increasingly attractive to Irish students who understand the burden of fees on their families – we’re in danger of some of our best talent going overseas.”

So there’s a lot to consider -USI is looking forward to engaging with the government’s future funding group to address the underinvestment in the higher education system.”
The event will hear from the Chair of the Higher Education Future Funding group, Peter Cassells, Tom Healy of the Nevin Economic Research Institute and Dr Adam Wright from the UK’s National Union of Students on funding options and opportunities, and will engage in a panel discussion, featuring IFUT, SIPTU and the Irish Second Level Students’ Union.

The event is a breakfast seminar (with pastries, tea and coffee on hand) to discuss the prospects for real publicly funded higher education in Ireland. Media representatives are very welcome to attend.

Over the past decade public spend per student increased at primary and second level (5.5% and 9.6% respectively) and fell by 20% at third level [CSO].

In the UK, where a Student Loan system has been implemented, £45 of every £100 in loans in England are written off. £54 billion is currently outstanding from loans, projected to rise to £330 billion in 2044.


8.30am Arrival and Registration – Teas/Coffees – Refreshments
9am – Opening from USI
9.15am – Presentation from Tom Healy (Nevin Economic Research Institute) on the NERI working paper on HE funding options
10am – An International Perspective on Higher Education Funding – Adam Wright, NUSUK
10.30am –  Panel Discussion with IFUT, SIPTU, NUSUK and Irish Second Level Students’ Union
11.15am – closing remarks
11.30am – close

For more information please contact:

Laura Harmon, USI President: 0861738455

This content was first published 7 years ago and may be superseded by events or new information. Please bear this in mind when evaluating this news article.