Lecturers are holding demonstrations today at Institutes of Technology nationwide to demand a major funding increase in the Budget.
The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) is proposing a 1% levy on the corporate tax rate, ring fenced for third-level education.
The TUI says student numbers at Institutes have risen by a third since 2008, while the number of lecturers is down by nearly 10%.
John MacGabhann, the TUI General Secretary, says many lecturers are stuck in low-paid, part-time positions.
[This puts] each and every one of those lecturers in a position where they have to consider alternative employment outside of the academic sector, outside of the Institutes," he said.
"They simply have to because they can't make ends meet."