The Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI) will hold a research seminar entitled ‘We Need to Talk About Higher Education’ in the INTO Learning Centre, 38 Parnell Square, Dublin 1 on Wednesday 16th April at 4.00 p.m. The NERI seminar series aims to provide a forum for the presentation of research papers on topics of relevance to Irish public policy and will take the format of a presentation of the research followed by a questions and discussion. The seminars are open to all who are interested and are free to attend.NERI Director, Dr. Tom Healy said: “Higher Education is central to Ireland’s future social and economic success. Growth in student numbers together with funding shortfalls have placed acute pressure on the system. It is clear that the current funding arrangement is not sustainable or equitable for households or Government.“Further cut backs and increases in student charges/tuition fees may be expected. While a number of English-speaking countries have moved towards private funding models including income-contingent loans for students the pattern across European countries, excluding Ireland and the UK, is one of very high public expenditure levels funded by general taxation.”He added: “For Ireland to reach EU funding norms will take time. It is suggested that the planned Government charge of €3,000 per full-time undergraduate student in 2015 be capped and consideration be given to increasing the proportion of GDP spent on Higher Education from its 2010 level of 1.6% to 1.9% over a period of time with a rising proportion coming from public sources.”