As the Deputy will be aware the student contribution will increase to €2,500 for the next academic year and is payable by students who qualify under the free fees schemes. Students who qualify under my Department's student grant scheme have the student contribution paid on their behalf by the Exchequer. Conscious of financial pressures on families tax relief provisions have been put in place so that second and subsequent siblings do not have to bear the full cost. An additional category of "50% Student Contribution" is available under the student grants scheme. Institutions, at my request, have provisions in place to allow students to pay the contribution in two moieties.The HEA is undertaking a study on the sustainability of the current funding system for higher education. This study was initiated at my request and an initial report has been published. This report makes it clear that immediate work is required to prepare for a longer term approach to a system that can be maintained through a sustainable funding base which will be able to address the continual expansion of the sector while protecting the quality of education. The HEA is continuing its work in this area and I will be advised further as this work progresses. The report will help inform decision-making as to the future funding of the sector.