Student fees to be frozen at €3,000 for 2016 vows minister
The third-level student contribution charge will be frozen at €3,000 for 2016, Education Minster Jan O'Sullivan has pledged.
It effectively kicks the thorny issue to touch until after next year's general election. The current charge is €2,750 and it is due to rise to €3,000 in September in the final of a series of increases set in train by her predecessor, Ruairí Quinn.
Ms O'Sullivan told the Union of Students in Ireland conference she did not "see any circumstances where it will be increased beyond the €3,000 maximum that will apply from September next".
The minister's commitment will be welcomed by parents and students, but will cause dismay in higher education circles where there are growing calls for more funding for the sector.
Earlier this month, Athlone Institute of Technology president Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin said that fees would need to rise to €4,000 in 2016, and warned that higher education institutions were not sustainable at current funding levels.