Written answers

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Fees

Photo of Arthur SpringArthur Spring (Kerry North-West Limerick, Labour)
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179. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if it is possible for an exemption in relation to international student fees to be given to children of an Irish person working for an Enterprise Ireland assisted company who has been required to live outside the EU for more than three of the past five years in an attempt to grow the company. [55220/13]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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The position is that where students do not qualify for free fees, they must pay the appropriate fee - either EU or Non-EU rate - as determined by their third level institution. The higher education institutions are autonomous institutions and the level of fees payable by students who do not meet the requirements of the free fees schemes is a matter for the relevant institution.

While the issue of fee rates payable by students is entirely a matter for the institutions, I have requested that the Higher Education Authority liaise with the sector in order to establish and report on the practices currently operated by individual institutions and to seek to agree a common approach across the sector. This review is also intended to examine the issue of Irish students who have been living abroad and intend returning to Ireland to study at third level. It is hoped that, following this review, revised arrangements which will have clear and consistent criteria can be agreed, and will be in place for the next academic year. As the Deputy can appreciate, I cannot intervene in individual cases.

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