The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and certain politicians find themselves at odds with the Government’s proposed new loan scheme for third level education, saying that such plans are tantamount to a ‘return to full fees through the back door,’ and that the move would cause a ‘brain drain.’
Under Government proposals, students attempting to undertake third level education would pay nothing upfront, but find themselves heavily indebted by the time they finish their course. Repayments would then kick in only after the graduate begins earning over a certain threshold, with monies collected through Revenue.
The USI says that a different model through a tax-funded mechanism is a much better option. According to the USI, long-term debt would only spark emigration to avoid paying back the debt, with dire consequences in terms of economic and social fallout.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry went as far as saying that the Government plans would signify a return to full fees ‘through the back door’.