Student fees to be cut by €1,000 in new budget

After a once-off cut for all students this year, reduction in the student contribution fee will be means-tested.

Third-level fees are to be cut by €1,000 this year and significantly reduced on a means-tested basis over the coming years, according to early reports of Budget 2023.

All students in receipt of the SUSI grant will receive a double payment this year, while those studying for PHDs will get a once off cost of living payment before Christmas.

Following this year, reduction in student fees will be means-tested. Under the new plan, any family earning under €100,000 will see a permanent reduction of €500 in fees. Families earning €62,000 a year will pay no more than €1,500 in fees due to changes in student grant rules.

College is yet to confirm how the fee reduction will be applied to Trinity students.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD secured a once-off Covid relief payment to students. Students either received a €250 credit note or a €250 reduction in any outstanding fees.

This is the first cut in the student contribution charge in 27 years. The €3,000 annual charge was introduced in the 1990s when third-level tuition fees were abolished with the free fees initiative.

At €3,000, Ireland currently has the highest third-level fees in the EU.

Harris has been campaigning for a reduction in the student contribution fee in recent months. Harris previously said he was seeking a cut to the €3,000 student contribution fee in full.

In May, Harris published plans to reduce the student contribution charge through the Funding the Future framework.

Sinn Féin’s proposed alternative budget proposal, published on Friday, also included a €1,000 reduction in student contribution fees.

Budget 2023 is due to be presented in full in the Dáil this afternoon.

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor