University leader issues warning over student-staff ratios

The proportion of students to staff in Irish universities is “much, much worse” than it was during the recession-hit 1980s and represents the single biggest threat to higher education, University College Dublin President Professor Orla Feely has warned, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.

Feely, who was appointed president of the country’s largest university last May, made the comments during her inaugural lecture at University College Dublin (UCD) on Monday evening, 25 September, in front of more than 600 staff. “The student-to-faculty ratio in UCD when I was a student in the 1980s, that time of economic deprivation for the country, was around 13 to one. Now, in a vastly wealthier Ireland, it is over 20 to one – much, much worse than in my student days,” she said.

“In the OECD Education at a Glance document just published, Ireland is second from the bottom for student-faculty ratio in tertiary education ... As a country whose main natural resource is talent and whose success has depended so fundamentally on the talent developed in higher education institutions, how can we justify this?”
Full report on The Irish Times site