College fees must be used to combat social inequality

Ireland“University fees are coming back. Good. The mechanism through which they will be reintroduced is unclear and could be messy. The problems created by the corporatisation of universities won’t be resolved. The antiquated grants system remains in desperate need of reform. Economics rather than ideology is driving the move, but the principle that students who can afford it should contribute towards the cost of their tuition should be re-established. Since students themselves personally reap the financial rewards of their higher education, it’s only fair that they should be required to invest in their future careers. On a macroeconomic level, the country benefits from a well-educated workforce, but on a personal level, lawyers, doctors, dentists, teachers and computer scientists earn a good rate of return on their education. Why shouldn’t they pay something towards it? …” (more)

[Sarah Carey, Irish Times, 25 March]

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