An estimated 10,000 students marched through Dublin on Wednesday calling on the Government to fund higher education rather than introduce student loans.
The demonstration, arranged by the Union of Students in Ireland, took place with the backing of dozens of community and educational organisations.
Student from across the State were represented as they heard organisers warn of the dangers of implementing an income-contingent student loan scheme similar to the system operating in the UK.
Such a scheme was mooted as a possible solution to funding problems in the third-level sector in an expert report produced for the Government and overseen by former trade union secretary Peter Cassells.
This option would see students pay upwards of €20,000 back to the State once they reach a prescribed income threshold after graduation.