Fianna Fáil Press Office
Connie Gerety Quinn
04 February 2016
Government fails to properly fund Athlone IT – Gerety Quinn
Fianna Fáil candidate for Longford-Westmeath Connie Gerety Quinn has slammed the Government for neglecting Athlone IT, stating: “It is shameful that this Government has neglected Athlone IT. Since 2012 Government overall funding to Institutes of Technologies was cut by 25% per student. Capital Funding has fallen by about 49%, resulting in crumbling physical and research infrastructure on college campuses.
“These cuts have decimated Athlone IT and the sector in general. By one measure of quality, the Teacher/Lecturer to Student ratios, ITs have gone from amongst the lowest (best) in 2008 to now amongst the highest (worst) in the OECD, with a 22% increase among Institutes of Technologies. This is just one of many examples of how this Government has let the people of Westmeath and Longford down.
“There has been a massive lack of investment in the third level sector, particularly in Athlone IT. This is a vital piece of infrastructure for the midlands and investment is needed to maintain and improve academic standards and achievements. Many students from abroad study in Athlone IT, they pay tuition fees and help to fund the college, but this is at risk due to government policy. We cannot allow Athlone IT to lose competitiveness against European counterparts. At present there is no vision for the future.
“In Government Fianna Fáil will increase funding to improve student: lecturer ratios, small group teaching & research output in Institutes of Technology. Fianna Fáil is the only party that will deliver this and is committed to delivering a recovery that reaches all counties of Ireland and all people, not just the privileged few.”
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