The funding crisis hits Northern Ireland
Somewhat over-shadowed by higher education events in England, Northern Ireland’s universities are also facing difficult financial issues and are awaiting a decision by the Assembly on tuition fees. In a presentation to local politicians Queen’s University representatives said that ‘750 jobs could go, academic departments could close, class sizes could get bigger and there could be a reduction in services to students.’ This, it said, was because of a looming deficit faced by the university of £40 million, a much larger funding gap than that faced by any university south of the border. There are clearly difficult times ahead for Northern Ireland’s higher education system, and this is not made easier by the apparent lack of urgency with which Northern Ireland’s politicians are handling the matter. It is time to decide.