Colleges slapped down over fee plan
THIRD-level colleges have effectively been told to drop plans to charge students more if they opt to pay their annual €2,000 registration fees in two instalments.
At least one university was proposing to charge students €25 extra if they split their payments in two.
Now, the Higher Education Authority has written to colleges warning against any such move.
It has told third-level institutions it "would not be supportive of such a position".
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn reversed a pre-election commitment to maintain the charge at €1,500. He subsequently sought to soften the blow by asking colleges to allow students to split the payments into two equal instalments, payable in September and January.
The increased charge is expected to be a forerunner to the reintroduction of student fees, although it is unlikely they would have to be paid upfront.