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College 'fees by the backdoor' as registration fee guaranteed to rise - Hayes - News - Young Fine Gael

College 'fees by the backdoor' as registration fee guaranteed to rise - Hayes

UCC Chief says registration is 'fees by another name'

Students and parents are certain to be charged even more 'fees by the backdoor' as the college registration fee is now set to rise after college heads called for a hike today (Thursday), Fine Gael Education Spokesman, Brian Hayes TD, said.

Deputy Hayes said that Batt O'Keeffe is fooling nobody by claiming that the registration fee is nothing to do with him and that the Minister is using students as 'cash cows' to generate cash for the under-funded third level sector.

"Free fees are a myth and this is nothing more than 'fees by the backdoor'.

"Today, UCC President, Dr Michael Murphy, admitted this when he said that the existing registration fee regime is 'fees by another name'.

"The registration fee is already a massive €1,500 per year after being almost doubled in the Budget last year. Batt O'Keeffe has attempted to claim that it has nothing to do with him and that the registration fee is up to the colleges but he is fooling nobody. The college heads last year did not request an increase in the registration fee yet the Cabinet, including Batt O'Keeffe, made the unilateral decision to hike it massively. Now that the heads of two colleges have indicated that they want the fee to rise, Minister Batt O'Keeffe is certain to once again use students as 'cash cows' and increase it.

"Rather than his usual trite, ill-informed political response, I would rather the Minister set out some solutions he has to the funding problems colleges face. Fine Gael is the only party with a comprehensive plan for third level reform that includes funding universities and colleges. Our plan would abolish the registration fee, rule out the introduction of third level fees and see new entrants to college, after graduation, make a contribution through the PRSI system to the value of 30% of the cost of their college education. I, once again, urge the Minister to adopt the FG plan."

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