The government is considering a reduction in student contributions as part of a new higher education funding program, the Irish time reported.
The income thresholds for scholarships may also be lowered, allowing more students to benefit from financial aid.
According to Irish time, the proposals are part of a set of policies to be published in January based in part on a report on future third tier funding produced by the European Commission.
Successive governments have come under pressure to change the financing model of the sector since the publication of the Cassells report in 2016, which laid out three possible avenues for securing the financial future of higher education: removing tuition fees – which since Brexit, are the highest in the EU – and increase public funding to the sector, keep the load and increase funding or introduce an income-based lending system. Harris previously excluded student loans.
Some 40 million euros would be needed to reduce the burden of the student contribution by 500 €, with a reduction of 1000 € costing just over 80 million euros. The cost of the total abolition of the license would be 245 million euros.
The rising cost of college education has become a bigger political issue in recent years, with the Students Union of Ireland and the Association of Irish Universities repeatedly calling on the government to act on the findings of the Cassells report.
The issue of rising rents and the lack of affordable student housing is also regularly raised by student leaders.
In an email statement to University times Tonight, a spokesperson for Harris said: “The Committee has accepted Minister Harris’ proposal that student loans should not be further seen as a viable option for a future system of sustainable higher education financing in Canada. Ireland.
“It was also recognized that the report will recommend the need for an increase in core funding to achieve a sustainable system, which will need to be addressed through the Exchequer and Budget,” she said. .
“Minister Harris will engage with Minister McGrath to present proposals on future funding for higher education alongside reform measures in January. This will be accompanied by proposals on the cost of the third level for the student. This will be guided by the report on the student support program.
Harris previously told that newspaper that the Cassells verdict would be released before the end of the year.
Talk to University times in October, Harris said he didn’t want “to be the minister who puts out another report and sticks it on an old shelf and picks up the dust and says, ‘We need to do more for higher education.
“Why am I waiting to publish it by the end of the year rather than publish it today?” What I try to work with colleagues in government to make sure I can release it with a clear set of next steps ”.
The Cassells report was sent to the European Commission in January 2019, when the government requested economic advice on the report.