We believe that higher education is a public or social good and not a service industry. We believe it should be open to all and not the preserve of a wealthy elite. We believe it should be properly resourced by the state as a vital social good in terms of development and social equity. There are strategic choices now in front of us that need to be faced. To date the debate has been quite one-sided with those who do not accept the ‘magic of the market’ being marginalised. We are the majority of those actually studying and working in Ireland’s higher education institutions and we will be heard. We do not have all the answers and would like to see a proper debate across society and the political order. We stand for a real commitment to access regardless of economic means. We call for a halt on the attacks on working conditions. We believe in higher education both as a generator of knowledge and as a means to reduce social inequality.
We are happy to support this USI initiative. We also suggest that we should have more regular channels of communication at national and branch level. Students and staff have a common interest in greater access and equity in education, an end to cuts and casualization and an education system geared towards national social and economic development.
Annette Dolan Mike Jennings Louise O’Reilly
Deputy General Secretary General Secretary Education Sector National Organiser
TUI IFUT SIPTU