SIPTU has called for urgent action to tackle the funding crisis in higher education as the majority of third level institutions in Ireland continue to decline when ranked internationally against similar colleges. SIPTU Education Sector Organiser, Karl Byrne, said: “While we have many reservations about the manner in which these world ranking systems are drawn up, they do highlight the crisis in our third level education system which must be tackled urgently.“The nature and quality of employment within academia is as much an issue as increased student-teacher ratios. Years of underinvestment and reduced staffing has taken its toll on the entire third level sector. The entire sector is rife with precarious employment and this has made it virtually impossible for workers to aspire to a decent career.“While the tables may over emphasise research output to the detriment of other factors, the trend is undeniable.”He added: “Along with representatives of the other unions in the Coalition for a Publicly Funded Higher Education System, SIPTU Organisers will be unveiling the results of a survey of the public’s attitudes to how higher education should be funded and estimates of increased budget requirements to address the current funding crisis, next Wednesday (13th June),  at 11.00 a.m. in Buswells Hotel in Dublin 2.”