Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Committee on Budgetary Oversight

Pre-Budget Submission: Irish Universities Association

Mr. Jim Miley:

On the fees issue which was discussed earlier, I fully accept that the Deputy does not consider it fair. However, we are back in the territory of what we do not want. We are asking the Government what is the solution. If it does not wish to bring in student loans or to address the level of fees, the only logical solution is for the State to increase its contribution. If that is the decision of the Government, universities will support that and will operate our businesses accordingly. We need clarity on that issue to come out of the political process.

On accommodation, if it were feasible to decrease accommodation charges, universities would do so.

We need to bear in mind that the average lifespan of a university accommodation block, before it requires substantial refurbishment, is approximately 25 years. Some of these accommodation blocks are on 25 to 35-year loans. As we all know, loans have to be repaid and there is a charge to that.