College challenges: Opportunity

That more than two-in-five postgraduate research students have, at one time or another, considered ending their studies before graduation raises myriad questions.

The obvious ones challenge the Irish practice of sending so many students on to third-level education — the highest rate in Europe. 

It raises again the question if all third-level students are ideally suited to the great opportunity. 

Another is whether or not students might be more determined, more invested in the process if they had to pay fees that better reflected the real cost of their education.

In the quickly changing world of work choosing a subject to study entails a high degree of risk. 

What today looks like a rewarding career may soon be obsolete — a factor recognised by some of the 38,000 students surveyed. 

Despite those relatively modest concerns it is something to celebrate that education has such a high cultural value in this society. 

That there is also general access must be celebrated too. 

We must keep working to strengthen that reality and make those opportunities available to anyone who might benefit from them.

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