New student fees loan scheme up for debate

The Government is about to add to its woes as a student fees loan scheme proposal is set to take centre stage in a new third-level funding debate.

With the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) firmly opposed to any increased costs and a finely balanced Dáil, the proposal in a report being launched by Education Minister Richard Bruton is sure to become a new political headache.

It is one of several options to bridge severe gaps in higher education funding but the ‘study now-pay later’ system is favoured by many key players in the sector.

Budgets for publicly funded colleges have been cut by nearly one-third since 2008, while student numbers have risen by 15% and staffing has fallen by 12%.

READ MORE: It’s an only educated guess as to who will pay for third level

Other solutions, which could also be introduced alongside higher student fees, are hiking general taxation or employer’s PRSI to fund improved progress to higher education.

In an effort to secure public support for any new or higher costs, Mr Bruton will propose new targets for third-level colleges on social access, meeting workplace skills shortages and catering for more part-time and online learners.

The report will be thrashed out by the Oireachtas Education Committee before the Government considers any policy decisions.

READ MORE: Richard Bruton prepares for tuition fees backlash

More on this topic

Government's student loan plan branded 'full college fees through the back door'Government's student loan plan branded 'full college fees through the back door'

New means test 'will deny farmers' children access to third level'New means test 'will deny farmers' children access to third level'

Students hit out at debt collectors chasing feesStudents hit out at debt collectors chasing fees

Militant groups accused of hijacking student marchMilitant groups accused of hijacking student march


A Spectacular 28.86-carat ring, the largest D-colour diamond ever offered online, will come up at Christie's Jewels in New York from June 16-30.High value diamond adds serious sparkle to online sale

A whiff of new normality is in the air, writes Des O'SullivanAntiques: How to put a post-lockdown world in the frame

Buy everything on Michelle Darmody’s list and create five meals.One List, Five Meals: Irish stew with a twist; Yellow Pepper Omelette

‘There are two of us, in it together’From Chestnut to Sage - how family food businesses, real labours of love, are coping with Covid

More From The Irish Examiner