What the cost is now and what the options are to fund students
• Current contribution of €2,000 will rise to €2,250 in September.
• By September 2015 it will be €3,000.
• Contribution charge was introduced as a registration fee in 1995/96 when third-level tuition fees were abolished in 1995/96. Originally, it was the equivalent of €190.
• Students in most colleges also have to pay a levy, ranging from €100-€300 a year, to cover sports, social and recreational facilities.
What are the options?
• Retain the student contribution charge -- but it is not enough to fund a quality system.
• A graduate tax/student loan scheme -- but no immediate savings for the State and it could take up to 17 years to recoup the money.
• 100pc exchequer funded -- requires the availability of state funding.
• Reintroduction of tuition fees -- this will put families under pressure.