That’ll be €3,000, please

According to reports in the media over the weekend, the Irish government has decided, or perhaps is about to decide, to replace the current student registration charge (discussed recently in this blog) with a new ‘student contribution‘, or else that the current charge will remain but be increased substantially. All reports appear to assume that the cost to students will double from the current €1,500 per annum to €3,000.

As these reports are now circulating widely, it would make sense to place whatever plans there may be into the open so that they can be discussed and assessed. If the plan is to increase the registration charge I am opposed to it, because such an increased charge will raise funds in excess of the costs of the items they are supposed to defray, and this will tempt or force institutions to engage in opaque accounting. If what is proposed is the establishment of tuition fees, then that is (in my opinion) a step in the right direction, but the terms and conditions will need to be properly assessed and there will need to be a framework for addressing inability to pay and resulting matters.

In the meantime, Fine Gael appears to remain committed to a ‘graduate tax’, which in my view is not a good proposition.

Now that the issue has been raised publicly, it is important that the plans, if any, are properly discussed. It is to be hoped that university representatives will be properly consulted.

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6 Comments on “That’ll be €3,000, please”

  1. Vincent Says:

    Opaque is it. Are you sure it’s Ireland you are on about. Shur aren’t we so clear that we need to be in crystal glasses to defuse some of the clarity.

  2. copernicus Says:

    Ferdinand,

    It is obvious that this is tuition fees by stealth. I agree with you that if it is called tuition fees then there could be discussions realted to it. But it will not happen. The sum collected will not put any significant resources to Irish universities, and that is the problem. The principals of Ediniburgh, St Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen are saying about the funding gap, and the resource starvation to universities. If Castro can change his socialist thinking, so could those who want no fee situation to continue and yet want the population going to universities to increase and not restricted.

    This reminds of a company with whom I have kitchen appliances insurance. The last time, our cooker hood had to be replaced, and the company asked me for a contribution of £65 for a model and said this was to cover their accounting and delivery. The depot is just 10 miles way. On further checking on-line, I could find that that was the cost of that cooker hood model! I was paying for its purchase! If the company had asked me to pick a set of models and asked me to pay a certain percentage towards the cost , I would have done itand picked a better model although the replacement was part of the insurance contract.

  3. Robert Browne Says:

    As usual it appears that the Green Program for government is being taken with a pinch of salt, by the bully boys in FF who can only find money by picking the pockets of students, social welfare recipients btw of whom there will be another 50,000 from the building sector alone next year as the government investment on infrastructure and other projects collapses.

    When those that lend money to Ireland listen to the students queueing up to announce that they will have to drop out of college it must fill them with even more trepidation that they will ever get their money back. They certainly won’t get it back from a dumbed down economy. Even if the parents stump up it simply means they have less money to spend in the real economy. The Moriarty Tribunal alone is probably going to cost 100 million. That would pay the proposed increase for 67,ooo students. That is how corrupt we have become.

    TThe Greens now have the perfect excuse to walk the plank. Fool me once….etc!

    • Vincent Says:

      Not everything has to have a Tax Break attached to it in order to get work done and money flowing. Why not insist that all septic tanks were closed units and that all product from such was carried to the new treatment plants that are scattered about the country.
      A simple enough Order could be cut and an 18 month time limit attached. Ditto the lagging of attics and walls. Just make it an active inspectable requirement. And something that would keep a goodly number going. While simultaneously cleaning up rivers and the water-tables. Win win and win, while releasing cash in at a very low level in the general economy.

  4. kevin denny Says:

    It is fees, but to be called a “contribution” as distinct from the existing fees, which are called a “charge”. Just as calling a tax a “contribution” or a “levy” makes no difference as money is entirely fungible. There is really nothing stealthy about it.
    Is anyone so stupid that they cannot see through this?
    I am not against this policy but I wish it was done in a transparent and honest way.

  5. John Says:

    Are we that incapable of serious policy reform in Ireland? Apparently so.


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