A new campaign is being launched today by lecturers in some of Ireland's top colleges to "Defend the University".
The academics from DCU and UCD say they want to highlight the control that big business increasingly has over Irish third level institutes.
"The concept of the university, which has been developed over 600 years, is just being sidelined with no debate," said Mike Jennings, General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers.
"Do we really want a university to be only a training institute for multinational corporations, or do we want a university to be a beacon of knowledge for students, and for society in general?"
The Federation maintains that commercial funding is being allowed to dictate university policy, turning it from a public service into a business enterprise.