Labour claims there is no reason Ireland should charge for third-level education when primary and secondary school is free.
A new report by the European Commission shows students here are charged the second highest college fees in Europe, at around €3,000 a year.
The only country that is more expensive is the UK.
Senator and Labour Spokesperson for Education Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the Irish system does not make sense.
"At this stage in our evolution as a republic, we should get back to those founding principles of free education," he said.
"I don't understand why we absolutely accept that collectively at primary level, at second level, but we don't accept it at third level.
"It is and would be a barrier if we were to bring in student loan schemes. The Government seems to be playing around with that idea," he added.