Our Challenge

Universities need substantial investment to accommodate the 25,000 additional students entering the university system over the next decade. We need resources to improve access, to become lifelong learning institutions and to ensure we continue as best in class research and innovation centres.

Our universities are where the Irish Spark burns brightest. The key to protecting it is better state funding. A vibrant, well-funded, fit-for-purpose university sector can drive Ireland’s future. This is what the seven universities through the Irish Universities Association are aiming to achieve. It’s time to take action. It’s time to Save our Spark.

Ireland’s Future Talent - A Charter for Irish Universities

The Charter lists six commitments to deliver a fit for purpose university system.

Build on the quality of the student experience in a digital age.

Increase the scale, scope and impact of investment in research and innovation.

Expand student access and increase engagement with communities and industry.

Support a programme of staff development and increased equality and diversity.

Create more flexible and accountable structures.

Secure investment and resources to achieve our ambitions.

Download the full charter

Download Charter

Ireland's 7 Universities

Photo of Dublin City University

Dublin City University

16,000 Students

1,577 Staff

Photo of NUI Galway

NUI Galway

18,000 Students

2,116 Staff

Photo of Maynooth University

Maynooth University

12,000 Students

925 Staff

Photo of Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

17,000 Students

3,090 Staff

Photo of University College Cork

University College Cork

21,000 Students

2,705 Staff

Photo of University College Dublin

University College Dublin

33,724 Students

3,342 Staff

Photo of University of Limerick

University of Limerick

11,600 Students

1,478 Staff

Views from others

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Dáil Eireann

"Horses get €6,000 state support a year - while an arts student gets €4,000... per capita, we are putting more into horses - the equine industry - than we are into our students, and that's why our universities are now stumbling down the international league tables." - January 2020

Claire McGee- Ibec General Election Podcast 2020

"The key challenges of the future are going to be about growing that talent pipeline, growing our intellectual property, growing our innovation capacity and the higher education system and the research system are going to be key enablers of that." - February 2020

Parliamentary Budget Office "An Overview of Tertiary Education funding in Ireland"

The Higher Education Sector is a cornerstone of the Irish Economy, but it is under significant financial pressure and with an unsustainable funding model. Sustainable investment into the sector is fundamental in maintaining quality and in ensuring equality of access. - November 2019

National Competitiveness Council Report, "Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge"

The current Higher Education System requires significant additional state funding to deliver on national objectives. Increased demand for education needs to be matched with increased investment to avoid negative impacts on productivity and human capital supply, and to ensure Ireland’s national reputation for high quality education is maintained. - December 2019