Students: Investment 'may not keep pace' with requirements

The Union of Students in Ireland are cautious about whether the investment announced today, €184m for third-level infrastructure, will be sufficient to keep pace with the schedule of funding necessary.

The Union of Students in Ireland are cautious about whether the investment announced today, €184m for third-level infrastructure, will be sufficient to keep pace with the schedule of funding necessary.

The president of the USI, Hamidreza Khodabakhshi, said that under-investment in the infrastructure of Ireland's third-level system is 'a very serious problem'.

Mr Khodabakhshi said: "In the context of an expanding third-level sector and increased global competition, past Budgets have not facilitated colleges to bring facilities of Irish colleges up to a world class standard.

While USI welcomes the infrastructural investment announced today, it is vital that this spending be appropriately distributed.

The concern is that new investment in Research & Development and postgraduate facilities - while extremely important - should not become disproportionate to the amount allocated to improving facilities for undergraduates.

"There is an urgent requirement for lecture theatres to be modernised, libraries to be restocked, and seminar rooms to be upgraded. This will require sustained investment over many years, and should not be left to the business plans drawn up by individual institutions.

"USI supports investment in teaching and facilities at all levels of education, from primary level all the way through fourth level. Excellent primary and secondary education is a prerequisite for all high-achieving college students. The seeds of excellence are sown in primary school."

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