Griffith College is offering students free degree courses if their family will accept an international student into their home.

The "digs for fees" scheme is being offered at its campuses in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

The international student would be given full board at a house within a reasonable distance of the campus, and in return the college would waive the course fee for the Irish student.

Average annual fees are around €5000. Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, President of Griffith College Diarmuid Hegarty said the international student would benefit by being immersed in the English language and Irish culture.

He said the Irish family should not look at it purely in money terms.

"This is basically an intercultural experience. I would think what will happen from this is that Irish students will form relationships with the international student who is staying there."

"As part of the arrangement, we would expect them to stay a month in the country of origin of the international student. We would also like to see a matching of language skills."