Third level teachers are calling on the new Minister for Education to restore funding to the sector.
They say years of austerity has significantly reduced the quality of teaching they can provide for students.
Cuts to the sector and an increase in class sizes are set to top the agenda at the annual conference of the Irish Federation of University Teachers in Dublin today.
The gathering coincides with the appointment of Richard Bruton as the new Education Minister last night.
General Secretary of the union Mike Jennings says his members face impossible challenges: “Well everybody probably has a mistaken idea of higher education that it is as easy to give a lecture to a 300 students as it is to give a lecture to 150 students.
“But it is absolutely impossible for a single lecturer to give any examinations, to an extra 150 people, and it is completely out of the question to provide any counselling or servicing that weaker students and students experiencing difficulties might need.”