|University College Cork|
There is an increasing clamour from Irish
universities and the rest of the third level sector for an reintroduction of
undergraduate fees as demand for places continues to rise. However, the
universities have been as cavalier with public funds as the rest of the public
What is striking about the third level sector
that the old refrain of asking for more money continues but there is no chance
that the administrators will try and do more for less.
In 2009, Michael Murphy, UCC president, said that
the reputation and capacity of Irish universities to earn research income will
plummet internationally if the Government failed to continue supporting research
in the December 2009 Budget.
Murphy like all his counterparts want more
spending on research but they have nothing to say on outcomes - - because the
facts are inconvenient.
Last week he told The Irish Times that the
rankings of most Irish universities have fallen dramatically in the past two
years, reflecting staffing and other cuts imposed across the third-level sector
Salaries account for three-quarters of total
current expenditure on higher education in Ireland, compared with an
international average of two-thirds. This means that Irish higher education
operates with lower (nonpay)
recurrent expenditure than is typical in other countries.
Reputation and international rankings may keep
university presidents awake at night but these obsessions are divorced from the
realities of a country facing a decade of economic challenges.
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