Student contribution to rise to €2,000: introducing tuition fees?

As part of its four-year National Recovery Plan (to which I shall return later) the government has announced that the student registration charge will be replaced by a ‘higher education student contribution’ (page 120), and the amount to be paid will rise from the current level of €1,500 to €2,000; this is a smaller increase from what had been anticipated, though still a very substantial one. And in the process we appear to have introduced tuition fees, without any major discussion of the plan.

It may be that this will be explained as an increase of the existing charge, but it isn’t that. First, the name change suggests something different; and secondly, the sum is now higher than can easily be justified by non-tuition costs.

I am, as I have said repeatedly, in favour of tuition fees, but even I am surprised at their sudden appearance. One wonders whether the Greens will support this.

More on this later.

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12 Comments on “Student contribution to rise to €2,000: introducing tuition fees?”

  1. copernicus Says:

    If it looks like a bird and flies like a bird, it is a bird! It is tuition fee alright even if it is named as contribution to St Patrick! It is pure dishonesty. As for Greens, the tree huggers, they believe that money grows on trees!

  2. Perry Share Says:

    @ Copernicus
    Do you have any evidence of any Green Party member who has stated a belief that money grows on trees, or is that just your own surmise? It seems to be a big thing for you, as you’ve said it before on here.

  3. copernicus Says:


    I have friends in Green Party whose thinking is bordering unreality. As for “money growing on trees”, I cannot believe that you have taken its literal
    meaning! If I said it before, is that a crime?

  4. Al Says:

    Ah lads
    Should we be more concerned whether degrees and other qualifications grow on trees?

  5. kevin denny Says:

    There is no major policy change here so what is there to discuss? We had fees, but called something else, at €1500 and they are increasing it to €2000 and calling it something else again. But obviously not using the F word.
    A degree at €2k a year is extremely good value: I can’t think of an investment with a higher rate of return.
    If it is true that nearly 50% of students are getting grants now then the average fee is much lower and only the relatively well-off are paying.

    • Kevin, if you take it at face value there is a *major* change in policy, as the new fe is no longer a service charge, and is therefore a tuition fee.

      • copernicus Says:

        Once the ” fee” is introduced, call it in any name, the hikes will follow year after year. The only comfort is people’s delusion that it is not called tuition fee. Call it contribution to revive Celtic tiger.

  6. Robert Browne Says:

    The people who are making these changes are those that have used the investment in their own education to ruin this country.

    Those that have committed economic treason should not get to increase anybody’s fees. The three podium speakers will be history shortly, they have no moral authority to consign a single student to the dole queues.

    Hopefully, these students will decide that the people who screwed them and ruined the country do not deserve either the salaries or the pensions they have mined from the Bert.

    All lecturers in Irish universities should not get a red cent more than their counterparts in the North.

    Any news on the expenses scandal out at UCD or is that water under the bridge?

    • Iainmacl Says:

      If our salaries are to be the same as those in the North, can we also have a free national health service, no prescription charges or doctors fees, proper public transport, low mortgages, well funded schools with free school books and low class sizes, lower priced food and consumer goods………blah blah blah…..?

      • Robert Browne Says:

        As an academic I find it a little strange that the most cogent part of your reply is the ….blah blah blah part. It is as if you know what you are saying is nonsense but you feel you have to say it anyway.

        Edward Walsh President of LImerick University has wondered why there is such a disparity. If you were on the same salaries you might have more empathy with your students and not behave in such an insular fashion.

  7. Mark Dowling Says:

    I agree (obviously, per previous comments on prior threads) which those above who say “nothing new here”. The “services charge” was an insult to intelligence – it was a cost to the student without which he could not attend lectures and sit exams, therefore a fee by whatever name. To split hairs in this manner is to adopt the infuriating ways of the airlines and the event ticketing agencies who insist on their equally separate-but-not-avoidable charges, or like when Gordon Brown decided any government spending was to be described as “investment”.

  8. Robert Browne Says:

    Maybe this is the future. Those that think student are there to be “milked” might force other solutions to the fore.–%C2%A0unless-they-get-their-act-together-fast/

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