Sunday 23 July 2017

This could help end third-level funds crisis - if response is swift

Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke
Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke

Patrick Prendergast

Today could be a hugely important one for this country if it leads to the reversal of the long-running decline in funding third-level education. The Cassells report represents the first serious effort to engage with what's needed to finance higher education. It is no exaggeration to say the response will determine Ireland's economic future.

We have certainly waited a long time for this day. The work on the report began two years ago, and is being officially released today under Richard Bruton's tenure as Minister for Education and Skills.

It will now be sent to the Oireachtas Committee on Education and we will engage in a national debate on how best to fund third-level education in an era of rapidly rising demand for college places. The scale of that demand is awesome.

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