Art students have braved Arctic weather to hoist a marquee in the grounds of the Department of Education for a day-long debate on reform of the third level and fees.
The 50-strong group said they planned a day-long sit-out and wanted Tanaiste and Education Minister Mary Coughlan to join the discussions.
Rob Mirolo, spokesman for the group, said they wanted to hold an open and frank debate, despite the weather.
"It's not about making a point or making demands; it's more about having a debate with TDs if they wish to join," he said.
"Instead of making cuts, it's about reforming the education system."
A so-called flash mob erected a marquee as part of the event on the grounds of Government offices on Marlborough Street in Dublin city centre.
Students from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin City University and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology took part in the protest.
The Government has faced strong opposition to plans to hike the student registration fee to 2,000 euro, a move seen by opponents as fees by the back door.