Deering supports proposal for student loan system

29th October, 2015

Fine Gael TD for Carlow/Kilkenny, Pat Deering, has today (Thursday) voiced his support for the proposal to establish a UK style student loan system to fund third level education in Ireland.

“The study first pay later model used in the UK is something I have been pushing for since my election and I raised with the former Minister for Education back in 2013.

“I welcome the news today that the expert group set up to advise Government on third level funding is considering a model where students could avoid paying fees up front, but repay the cost of their education once they are working in later life and their income has reached a certain threshold.

“The current situation with third level funding in Ireland is unsustainable. We have a three tier system; there are those families who can comfortably afford it, those who are grant aided and the large section in the middle who are struggling to put their children through college.

“A comprehensive state funded model, where the student contributes later when they can afford to, makes perfect sense. The student loan system in the UK involves the student paying back 9% of their income on monies earned over £21,000 when they find employment upon leaving college. If their employment stops so do the repayments. Interest rates are minimal and sustainable.

“The priority here is the students and the model proposed is progressive and fair. Students can avoid having to pay fees up front and they can avail of a quality education underpinned by a stable and sustainable funding model.”