From University World News:
University presidents lobbied for the introduction of an Australian-style student loan system when they met Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe last week, reports The Irish Times. The seven college heads decided to oppose the return of the old fees regime, abolished in 1995, as problematic and inequitable.
Instead, they favour a system where Exchequer support for colleges would be topped up by student fees. But the cost of these fees would be lent to students and repaid once they start working. They say this would help shift the burden of college fees from the parent to the student who actually benefits from higher education . . .University presidents said a combination of fees and loans would “build a system which delivers both quality and equity”. The Australian model has been praised as an effective and fair means of generating income for higher education.