Sean Flynn in today’s Irish Times has a very interesting piece on tuition fees – the Minister for Education is considering their reintroduction. It is vital that we do indeed have this discussion – it is, as I have said previously in this blog, difficult to see how we can address the resourcing deficit for higher education in Ireland unless this step is taken.
As we assess the next steps and undertake this debate, we shall need to ensure the overall funding issue for higher education is properly addressed, seen in the context also of Ireland’s international competitiveness; in other words, fees should produce added value, not replace government funding. And secondly, we need to ensure that there is a proper framework to support those who cannot afford to pay fees.
But this is good news, all in all. I am sure the universities will work constructively with the government in advancing this agenda.