Proposal on higher education funding welcome but timeline for delivery is key – Rose Conway-Walsh TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education has welcomed that publication of the funding and reform framework for higher education and called on the government to act on the recommendations.
Speaking after the publication, Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“I welcome any progress towards finally bringing much needed funding to the higher education sector and supports for students and families.
“The report specifies a 307 million funding gap in the current budget and the need to increase student support by 25 percent. That shows the strain the sector and students have been operating under.
“This will not come as a shock to students or anyone working in the sector. We have seen a long line of reports highlighting the damage being done by 10 years of austerity policies.
“The Minister’s recognition that student fees at their current level are an austerity measure is an important step and shows they have come a long way since the forming of the department when a commitment to maintain fees at the current level was included in the programme for government.
“What we need now is a clear timeline from government on when funding, student supports and a reduction in student fees will be addressed.
“In relation to core funding, the Minister has said that his hope it that it will be over a three-year period. If this represents a best-case scenario it is very concerning.
“This cannot be another announcement and another report highlighting the problems. We now need to see real action as a result. Sinn Féin stand ready to work with government to deliver these much-needed reforms.”