Funding higher education

 

Sir, – “The challenge faced by HEIs [higher education institutions] is to increase student numbers without increasing expenditure.” This, dear reader, is the gospel according to Deloitte (“Almost one in three colleges ‘won’t hit performance targets’”, April 21st).

But this is no challenge at all. All that is necessary is to increase class sizes, pay less personal attention to students, implement a non-replacement policy for ageing equipment and employ lots of low-cost postdocs, short-term contracts and adjunct staff.

All HEIs have been doing this for years. What’s new?

But there is more sage advice from the masters of pedagogy: “Irish HEIs have an opportunity to consider smarter investments, utilise emerging technologies and existing infrastructure, in order to offer an alternative and a most cost-effective higher educational experience to learners”.

Translation – use technology to reduce to a minimum, if not to zero, any meaningful contact between students and academic staff.

Simple really. – Yours, etc,

FRANK E BANNISTER,

Dublin 4.