Funding third-level education

 

Sir, – I am glad to see The Irish Times has highlighted the third-level student demonstration against student loans and the underfunding of this sector (News, October 4th and 5th).

In 2008, the Department of Education contributed €8,100 per student in our institutes of technology, while in 2017 it is spending only €3,950 per student.

Third level has never been so productive. More than twice the productivity of nine years ago. Yet we are still told there is not enough money to pay for third-level education.

Since 2008, there has been chronic underfunding of the institutes of technology.

The figures are stark. A 35 per cent cut to funding in the sector (a decrease of €190 million), with a 32 per cent increase in student numbers.

At the same time staffing levels have decreased by almost 10 per cent in the perfect storm for third-level education. This is damaging to this crucial part of our future as a knowledge economy.

Last week academics in the institutes held a lunchtime protest. This week, the students have protested. Is anyone listening? – Yours, etc,

FABIAN McGRATH,

Lecturer,

Dublin Institute

of Technology, Dublin 8.