Funding higher education


Sir, – Your editorial may inadvertently have given a misleading impression of the scale of the funding challenge in Irish higher education (“Higher education – time to invest”, October 2nd). In saying that “the Cassells report on the future funding of third-level has projected that an additional €1 billion is needed over the next decade”, the impression is given that the required €1 billion can be spread over 10 years. In fact, the Cassells report makes it clear that funding needs to increase by €1 billion per year by 2021 – about €600 million per year is needed for “core” day-to-day funding, with the remaining €400 million per year needed for capital spending and improving student grants. To put this in context, the Minister for Finance will have about €300 million in discretionary spending at his disposal in next week’s budget, to be spent across all departments. – Yours, etc,


Department of Economics,

Finance & Accounting,

Maynooth University.