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University fees 'should be capped and funding models move towards European norms'

Dr Tom Healy added that further investment in the sector is needed.

Image: students via Shutterstock

A TOP ECONOMIST has said that he would advocate a cap on the university fees.

The Director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute Dr Tom Healy has warned that the sector is facing a funding crisis due to a range of factors.

He said that further investment in the sector is needed.

Healy was speaking at a conference organised by Dublin Institute of Technology’s (DIT) students’ union under the theme of “Putting Students at the Centre of the Technological Universities”.

“In the medium-term Ireland needs to move towards European norms of taxation and funding for higher education,” he recommended.

Higher education is a public good with benefits for society as well as the individual and it is important to defend this principle in practice.

He added that he would advocate a cap on the student contribution rate.

Also speaking at the conference, the President of the DIT Students’ Union stressed that if any new technology universities are set up, students need to have an ‘equal role’ in the decision-making on plans for the institutions.

The student contribution charge currently stands at €2,500, but is set to rise to €2,750 in the next academic year, and by another €250 in 2015-2016.

Some students are eligible for exemptions.

Read: Audit of PE facilities in schools “crucial” to tackling obesity >

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Nicky Ryan

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