Yes, you read correctly. It does in fact say Third Level Fees. It’s not your eyes, playing some kind of nasty trick on you. Ruairi Quinn, Ireland’s education minister, has said that college fees will return in Ireland.
As well as this rather disturbing news, it was also reported in today’s Irish Independent that the student loan deal which was being considered has been ruled out. The deal that was being considered was basically that students wouldn’t have to pay the fees at first, but once they were working at a reasonable salary, they could start paying it back. But it doesn’t matter now, cause that’s gone too.
“What does that mean?” I hear you ask. Well, it has rather serious implications for us, the youth. It means that we will be expected to fork out quite a lot of money at the start of a college year to secure a place. Although a price hasn’t been announced yet, consider that in England, full fees are £9,000. It also means that, as our banks are falling apart at the seams, they won’t be very willing to throw thousands of euro at students who may never even be in a position to pay it back.
I’m not good at sugar coating it – I might as well be blunt – It means that we could actually be expected to take these thousands of euro out of our pockets to get an education. What has happened to this country we live in? What has happened to priorities? They’ve changed. That’s all. Simple. The priorities are now securing a nice bit of interest for Europe, and the bankers can keep their pay cheques. Because, after all, what does it matter if we’re not educated? It’s not like education promotes jobs – increases likelihood to get work… Oh… wait…