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Parents face footing bill as third-level fee hike on cards

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WARNING: IUA chair Dr Paddy Prendergast. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

WARNING: IUA chair Dr Paddy Prendergast. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

WARNING: IUA chair Dr Paddy Prendergast. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

UNIVERSITIES are set to put pressure on the Government over who foots the bill for third-level education as they begin a new campaign to secure more funding.

It is a debate that will not be welcomed by ministers or parents and students as one or both groups will end up paying more.

If ongoing constraints on national finances rule out, or limit, what more the State will pay, the stark options will be higher fees, a student loan system or a mixture of both.

But the Irish Universities Association (IUA) believes that, difficult though the choices may be, the debate cannot be put off any longer. The focus of a new campaign is to ensure third-level institutions have more funding in the academic year starting in September 2016, when the current Transition Year or Junior Cert students begin college.

IUA chair and Trinity College Provost Dr Paddy Prendergast said the lack of public investment in higher education was endangering social and economic development.

The State contributes about €1.1bn a year to third-level, but it is estimated much more is needed – almost half as much again by 2020.

hnews@herald.ie


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