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Sinn Féin express concern over increases in third level student registration fees

10 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Daithi Doolan has expressed concern at the most recent increase in third level student registration fees. The Department of Education recently announced that there would be an increase in the registration fee this academic year from 670 to 750 euros - an increase of 80 euros.

Speaking today, Cllr Doolan said:

"I am concerned that the student registration fee for third level institutions is set to increase again this year. In 2001, the registration fee was 396 euros and in 2002 it was 670 euros. This coming academic year, students will be expected to fork out 750 euros, an increase of 80 euros. On top of this, some colleges have imposed student levies on their students.

"When the student registration fee was introduced in 1996, it was said to be a temporary measure, yet year on year students are faced with this price hike. The purpose of the fee is supposed to cover student services, yet the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have estimated that 63% of past fee increases went straight back to the exchequer.

"Sinn Féin is concerned that extra fee increases make a mockery of the "free fees" policy of this government, and that extra charges are being added on in other areas. Furthermore, these increases are further reducing the potential of poorer students to avail of a third level education. The price increase in registration fees is certainly not conducive to attracting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to third level institutions in the state.

"Sinn Féin is opposed to the current hike in student registration fees, and calls upon the Minister to reverse this policy."ENDS

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