Free-fees model is not best in class

Irish universities have fallen in the world rankings, a problem they blame on inadequate funding. While Brexit offers an opportunity to profit on income from foreign students, the sector needs an overhaul that goes beyond that

The British Office for National Statistics will release its third-quarter national accounts this week. This normally doesn’t raise much interest, but a number of highly significant changes will be made with respect to how third-level funding and debt are accounted for.

At present, loans to students are counted as assets in Britain’s national accounts. This is a nonsense. Estimates show that about 65 per cent to 80 per cent of these loans are ...