The Minister for Communications has indicated his support for the return of third-level fees that would involve a loan scheme to students.

Under the scheme, graduates would pay back a portion of their college fees once their income was above a set limit.

Eamon Ryan said any new scheme should remain free at the point of entry, and should not discourage students from attending college.

Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe is expected to outline several options for third-level funding shortly.