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.