Accounting students stumped by North/South fee differential
Chartered Accountants Ireland’s decision to increase fees for its 20,000 students by 4 per cent for 2012/13 hasn’t gone down well with many budding bean counters.
Not so much because of the increase – there hadn’t been one since 2009 – but because of the differential between the fees charged on either side of the Border. Those in the Republic are being asked to pay €2,100 for CAP1 in all subjects, while those in the North are being charged £1,450.
A quick conversion at yesterday’s rate of 1.2728 translates the sterling figure into €1,845. Students in the Republic are effectively paying a premium of €255 over their Northern counterparts.
One student who contacted me about this described it as being akin to Marks Spencer or Debenhams “ripping off Irish consumers”.
The institute said various “input costs” and the exchange rate are considered when setting fees. “The costs of delivering education north of the Border are different,” Brendan O’Hora, its director of communications, told me.
For students, these reasons just don’t add up.