IFUT Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Future Funding in Higher Education

Late in 2019 and early into 2020 IFUT worked closely with the ICTU Education Sector Group to prepare a document entitled ‘The Case for Publicly-Funded Higher Education’ Link as a policy/briefing paper to highlight the dire situation across Higher Education and to set out a way forward.  The paper set out 3 core recommendations as follows:

  1. That all political parties and government commit to matching and maintaining parity with the OECD average spend on tertiary education.
  2. That a Sectoral Forum on Decent Work be established to examine the nature and extent of precarious work practices in the sector and that this Forum be charged with the responsibility to make recommendations on how these practices are to end.
  3. That a full reassessment of the current grant system be carried out to address unfairness in access to Higher Education.

Regrettably the plans of the Education Sector Group were impacted, as indeed all of our plans were, by COVID-19 resulting in this paper not getting the launch or the coverage that it was deserving of.  While the funding situation has likely further worsened in the course of the pandemic we have been working, inside and outside of our ICTU Group, in an effort to highlight the issues across Higher Education.  In the course of the pandemic an ICTU Group of Unions across Further and Higher Education has been formed, while this Group has been concentrating to a large degree on COVID matters we are making efforts to engage directly with the Department for Further and Higher Education on the above points. 

More recently both the Congress Group and IFUT in our own right made submissions to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Future Funding in Higher Education on Future Funding which can be found on our website.