Sinn Féin comments on publication of Cassell’s Report on third level funding
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills, Deputy Carol Nolan, has said that Sinn Féin will not support an increase in the burden on ordinary families and students to meet the costs of third level education. Deputy Nolan reaffirmed Sinn Féin’s commitment to investing in third level education.
Deputy Nolan said:
“I welcome the publication of the report today and the anticipated debate on the future funding of third level education.
“The report is a damning indictment of the policies pursued by the previous Fine Gael and Labour Government as well as the Fianna Fáil Government before them, which has seen the recurrent funding for Higher Education Institutions slashed by €500 million since 2008.
“2,000 staff have been taken out of our third level sector while student numbers have been steadily increasing and we now have a student: staff ratio of 1:20, well above the OECD average of 1:16.
“Funding of third level education is now at crisis point and it is imperative that there is significant investment in order to maintain quality education outcomes for students and allow Ireland to remain competitive in terms of producing high quality graduates.
“Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring that third level education is accessible to all irrespective of class, ability to pay, disability, age or family circumstances.
“We will not support an increase in the burden on ordinary families and students to meet the costs of third level education while this Government intends to take €5 billion out of the economy in tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the most well off.
“Sinn Féin will be putting forward proposals in our upcoming alternative Budget that will clearly set out our vision for a well-funded public third level education system that is fit for the 21st century and is accessible to those who wish to avail of it.”