Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said his department is working to reduce the “burden” of education costs in the 2023 budget.
Inister Harris said a “fair package” was needed to acknowledge the cost of education is “crippling” for many families across the country.
He said he could not disclose before the Household whether the €3,000 student contribution fee would be reduced.
“But what I can say very clearly is that the budget will be in two parts, one for emergency measures for 2022 and one for measures for 2023,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“Students and their parents must be part of both, there must be immediate help for students.
“I know students are currently paying fees, but I also know that many are paying them in installments. There are two levers we can pull to help students. One is about the fee, one is about the grant and making sure more people qualify.
“On Monday I will publish an options paper, essentially outlining the various policy positions we might consider to help families reduce the cost of education.
“Everyone is going through an acute livelihood crisis and wants to know what you can do to help me. The answer to that will be revealed on September 27, but what I’m saying to students is this: We’re working to lower the cost of education for students and families to ease that burden.”
Mr Harris said the government’s medium-term goal was to help colleges build their own cheaper housing to beat rising rents, but that “grab-style” housing with families offered a short-term solution to the crisis in securing a Place is to live with only a few weeks until the beginning of the college term.
Meanwhile, Minister Harris said a refund should be on the table for social care students at Dublin Business School who were informed earlier this month their degree did not meet the standard required for regulator recognition.
Mr Harris said he believed that seeing that this course was not accredited by CORU had not been “put in the light” for the students and therefore made the students feel “cheated”.
“The first thing I have to say is that DBS is a private college, CORU is an independent regulator, but I am extremely concerned about how students are being treated on this matter. I don’t think DBS was trying to fool anyone, let me be clear,” he said.
“I spoke to the President of Dublin Business School late one evening this week. I think it is absolutely essential that DBS goes ahead with their plans to meet with each of the students in person and explore all the options available.
“There are options, for some students it is possible to switch to other accredited courses, for other students it may be possible to use the time until registration to gain enough professional experience for registration.
“But I also think we have to be honest here, students at DBS thought they were signing up for something that turned out to be very different and I think DBS needs to compensate students regardless of the outcome.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/going-to-college/minister-simon-harris-says-he-cant-reveal-whether-3000-third-level-student-fee-will-be-cut-in-budget-41950002.html Minister Simon Harris said he could not reveal whether €3,000 of third-tier tuition fees will be cut in the budget