The advent of fees meanwhile seems a certainty, but the constant refrain that it is in keeping with other countries' approaches to funding HE is not correct. There are plenty of other countries which maintain, and indeed some that are reverting to, free higher education. Indeed we only need to travel a short distance from this island's northern shores to see such a neighbour in Scotland, which incidentally has more universities per head of population than Ireland, something else which also seems to be ignored when discussing the sector here. Of course all are struggling in the current situation but the 'Anglosaxon' model is only one option and as we've seen with its hallmark deregulation and financial shenanigans, not necessarily the optimum means of delivering sustainable economics.
It's the dearth of imagination and the clutching at old mantras to somehow save a crisis for which they are responsible that is perhaps the most depressing aspect of the current situation. But perhaps we should hold off on judgment until we see what emerges in the much vaunted April statement from the Minister.