Someone must pay for third-level education
There is a contradiction about universities; the bigger and more recognised they become, the harder they are to get into. For all that, the news that Irish universities are dropping down international league tables is troubling. This country has attracted some of the world's leading companies on the grounds that we have a skilled, highly educated work force. Governments all over the world have correctly identified education as the being the gateway to the future.
Therefore, any narrowing of that gateway, through lack of investment or support, has to be resisted at all costs.
Today, we reveal the true cost of the failure to invest in our leading third-level institutions, and the toll that cuts and staff shortages have taken. We are now in real danger of damaging our global reputation for graduate quality and research. The gravity of the situation has led to a warning from university presidents that critical decisions on how we finance higher education must be confronted urgently.