Sir, – Higher education funding is 40 per cent less now than it was a decade ago. If we are to maintain quality and equity of access for students, we need to ensure that the sector is funded properly.
Colleges have been valiantly trying to uphold standards while they are being starved of funding.
Meanwhile we have the highest third-level fees in the EU and students’ unions are currently protesting in five universities against rising campus rents. The student maintenance grant has not increased and still stands at €84 per week on average.
How could any student pay rent and college costs on that?
Education is a public good. The next programme for government needs to have a strong commitment to protecting the sector through investment and ensuring equality of access. – Yours, etc,