O’Keeffe battling finance bosses on student fees format

Ireland“A furious behind-the-scenes battle is raging over the exact form of ‘contribution’ students will have to pay from next year for their college education. The Department of Finance is understood to be pressing for the straightforward return of tuition fees. But Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe prefers a graduate payment scheme which would see students repay their fees once their earnings exceed a certain threshold. From a budgetary point of view, the early return of fees would ease the pressure on the Exchequer, depending on the income threshold above which they would have to be paid. But politically such a move would lead to a storm of protest from students, and would further alienate the middle classes who benefited from the abolition of college fees in 1996 …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 24 March]

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