Last week, President of UCD Andrew Deeks called on “those with influence” to act on the results of the upcoming Cassell’s report. He made the comments at UCD’s annual awards ceremony on Friday 11 March, at which around 300 students were recognised for achievements in academic life and student activities.

During his address to students, Deeks spoke about the projected growth in the numbers of students attending third level which was revealed in a Higher Education Authority Report earlier this year. He also noted that funding levels to Irish third level universities has dropped in the last number of years. This has pushed the ratio of students to teachers in third level institutions, particularly UCD, higher than the OECD average.

At the ceremony, Deeks called on anyone there with influence to act upon the recommendations and lobby the government. The report on third level funding has recently been submitted to the department of education and outlines three main options. This includes the possibility of income-contingent loans once students graduate. The report also looks at free fees and continuing the system that is already in place. However, both of these seem unfeasible.

Deeks also drew attention to the opportunity available to lobby a new government on the issue of funding. He also commented that recent CAO figures highlight that UCD remains the first choice for most second level students.

Deeks awarded 300 students with scholarships and medals at the awards ceremony. The President’s Awards for Excellence in Student Activities were also awarded at the ceremony to twelve students.