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Royal Irish Academy Advice Paper on the Future Funding of Higher Education in Ireland

11 July 2016

This paper was submitted on behalf of the Academy to the Cassells Expert Group on the ‘Future Funding Options of Higher Education in Ireland’.

After years of government cuts and soaring student numbers, this paper highlights the urgent need to invest in higher education. This paper finds that a further investment of circa €1bn per annum is needed to maintain and develop the quality of the higher education system. This paper proposes:

  • A 25-30% increase in academic staff to revert the student - staff ratio to a credible 16:1.
  • That an emergency public capital investment fund of €580m per annum is established to address the depleted capital stock and rising student numbers in higher education.
  • That the cost of further investment in higher education should be borne by its key stakeholders notably the state, students and the institutions themselves.
  • That the Student Contribution Charge be replaced with a new Student Fee and Support Mechanism which would offer students the option of deferred payment through an income contingent loan and the opportunity to borrow to cover living costs associated with participating in higher education.

To download the Advice Paper, please click here.

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