Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD says the Government needs to move fast to address the funding shortfall in third level education.

Deputy Byrne made the comments after addressing a Trinity College Dublin conference on third level funding.

“One of the greatest challenges facing Irish society is determining how we can adequately fund third level education. In the space of 30 years we have gone from having one of the lowest rates of graduation in the OECD to having almost the highest attainment rates of third level education. This was achieved through major investment in third level, and we must continue this investment if we are to retain a world class education system.

“The Cassells Report points out that the current resources situation in Irish universities, IT’s and colleges is simply unsustainable. Student numbers are expected to grow by at least 25% by 2028. As a result of this our education system will require a further investment of between €100m – 120m just to maintain current standards. Meanwhile other countries are significantly ramping up their own investment, which is putting pressure on our education system.

“This is something which I will be pursuing with Minister Bruton in the months ahead. We cannot continue with the current situation whereby our third level education system remains chronically underfunded,” said Deputy Byrne.