Limerick IT president's warning on college loan risks

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

LIT president Prof Vincent Cunnane

LIT president Prof Vincent Cunnane

THE president of LIT has warned of the dangers of financing third level education with income-contingent loans (ICLs), describing it as a potential significant barrier to education.

Professor Vincent Cunnane made the comments during his speech at Limerick Institute of Technology’s graduation ceremony last Thursday.

Prof Cunnane said that any move to implement this Cassell Report recommendation would curtail access to further education for low income and even middle income families.

“I would not object to ICLs being considered in conjunction with the current system, but more and more evidence is emerging against the option of introducing fees for all students, removing grant aid and relying of ICLs as a sole form of financing education in this country,” said Prof Cunnane.

Prof Cunnane referenced a number of studies which examined the impact of loans on young professionals.

“The analysis found that those with average earnings, typically our nurses, teachers and social workers, will be impacted by their student loans for their entire working lives,” he said.

“I have heard the argument that the student benefits most from an education and therefore they would pay the full price,” continued the LIT president.

“Yes the individual benefits, but it is our society, our state and our government that ultimately benefits most.”