Students in Ireland pay second-highest fees in Europe

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Irish university students pay the second-highest fees in Europe, according to a  report by the European Commission.

The report, National Student Fee and Support Systems in European Higher Education, compared charges applied across 42 European education systems.

When it comes to undergraduate higher education courses, Ireland comes second only to the United Kingdom in terms of the high fees it requires most students to pay, the report said.

Undergraduate students in Ireland are charged fees of 3,000 euros per year, according to the report.

The report found that 11 systems charge no fees at all for first time undergraduates, including Germany, Denmark, Finland, Greece and Croatia.

A further 14 education systems charge less than 1,000 euros per year. These include France, which charges students just 184 euros per year, and Austria which charges 725 euros per year.

Over the past ten years, government funding for Irish university institutions has declined while student numbers continue to grow.

This leads to problems in universities ranging from class size, accommodation, tutorial issues and even parking if the universities cannot expand with this rise in attendance.

Last month, thousands of Irish students from all over the country took to the streets to call for university education to be publicly funded.

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