For months, Ministers Bruton and Mitchell-O’Connor have fobbed off questions by parliamentarians on the subject of the future funding of higher education, saying that it is up to the Oireachtas Committee on Education to assess the options.

Last week, Minister Mitchell-O’Connor told a DCU student leader that a student loan scheme is off the table.

This is great and welcome news but if the Minister is serious about not introducing a student loan scheme, then she needs to make a statement in either the Dáil and Seanad saying as much.

Fine Gael have been evasive up to now when it comes to the future funding of higher education. Less than a year ago, Fine Gael senators voted against Senator Aodhan O Rioradan’s proposal to take student loans off the table.

I will be calling the Minister for her to put her views on the record of the House.