Briefing: Third-level fees

Ireland“After a lengthy softening-up process, Batt O’Keeffe, the education minister, has achieved a grudging consensus that it’s time for students to pay for their third-level education again. There have been no fees since 1996, when they were axed by the rainbow coalition. O’Keeffe said last week that he will bring proposals to cabinet ‘very shortly’. Leaks from the Department of Education indicate that he will be recommending an Australian-style graduate tax, with students having to repay the cost of their education once in employment. Another feature of the Australian system — a discount if you pay in full up-front — is expected to be included. This would generate €70m a year straight away, which would appeal to the cash-starved Department of Finance …” (more)

[John Burns, Sunday Times, 29 March]

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