The consequences of expanding college access in Ireland

Could Ireland’s efforts to improve college access for disadvantaged students be resulting in top performers leaving the country? That’s what one leading university president is arguing, reports the Irish Examiner

University College Cork President Michael Murphy told business leaders that in the Ireland’s most academically talented are not having their needs met under the current system, as weaker students take up resources and support. And due to budget cuts, there are fewer resources to go around.

For instance, while enrollment in higher education is up 15 percent over three years ago, schools have 10 percent fewer faculty members. 

"There is extensive anecdotal evidence of many of our brightest students emigrating after completing [high school] for overseas education and never returning," Murphy said. "The space age, the nuclear age, the Hollywood age, all were mostly sparked by those in the top 2 percent to 5 percent of academic performers, who attended schools and universities that met their needs in innovative ways. Irish universities can do so, but must be empowered to do so, again, by the state."

Tags: Ireland Europe