Ireland’s education budget – which accounts for 17pc of total State expenditure or €8.6bn – is to be cut by €132.3m in 2012, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin announced today.
In what is being viewed as one of the most excruciating Budgets in the history of the State, the core value of education to Ireland’s future prospects is vital, he said.
A 2pc reduction in core funding for higher education will secure savings of €23.6m and third-level fees will go up by €250 in a move that could secure savings of €18.5m.
In the measures announced today, Howlin said that while student support for some new post-graduate students will be slashed, the State will make a contribution towards the fees of post-grad students from the lowest-income backgrounds.
Secondary schools being required to manage guidance provisions from within their existing Pupil Teacher Ratio allocations will save €10.4m while a reduction in capitation grants to schools by 2pc will make savings of €7m possible.
A phased withdrawal from 2012 of supports from disadvantaged schemes will make savings of €6.5m while cuts in trainee and apprenticeship schemes will save €19.2m.
Changes to fees and supports for post-graduate students and the reduction of maintenance grants will deliver annual savings of €12.6m.