Wednesday 23 August 2017

Cash-strapped colleges 'unviable'

University heads say the reintroduction of third-level fees is necessary, writes Daniel McConnell

Ireland's university presidents have united this weekend to declare that their debt-ridden institutions are on the verge of insolvency, their top academics are leaving and the quality of teaching is declining rapidly, because of a lack of adequate funding.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, five of the seven university presidents have this weekend said that, as a result of the cuts, virtually all of the progress made during the boom years is being undone very quickly; top posts can't be filled due to a lack of funds; top international academics are leaving Ireland because of the cuts and Ireland's international standing is plummeting as a result.

With a combined deficit of €32m, the universities were scathing of the Green Party block on the reintroduction of student fees last October. Several of the presidents said the funding issue was now at such a critical stage, that fees would have to return, and sooner rather than later.

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