Sunday 20 October 2019

UCD head wants fees restored 'for those who can afford them'

Anita Guidera

THE head of Ireland's biggest university yesterday called for the restoration of college fees for those who can afford to pay them.

University College Dublin (UCD) president Dr Hugh Brady said he was a father of three teenagers for whom he would afford to pay €6,000 each to a private secondary school.

"When they enter UCD (or another Irish university) in four years' time they will have to pay a modest student services charge and will probably petition me to buy a car with the balance!

"We have a funding problem and a parking problem," he said.

He added that, meanwhile, the tax paid by less well-off parents would continue to subsidise university education for the better-off, including his children.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School, Dr Brady warned that current under-funding of universities was eroding quality and threatening the ranking of Irish universities internationally.

He said a reasonable argument could be made that it would irresponsible for Irish universities to further expand student numbers until the current funding model was changed.

"Important academic posts remain vacant, support staff numbers have been cut, library opening hours have been shortened, key teaching and research equipment is not being replaced, and IT upgrades and refurbishment projects are being deferred," he said.

Irish Independent

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