Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Fees
522. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of applications for fees for third level institutions paid by her Department or Student Universal Support Ireland for persons from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who are participating in third level education in this State; the total amount involved; the reciprocal arrangements with these areas for fees to be paid in third level institutions where students from this State are participating in third level education in those areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40300/15]
523. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the arrangements in place whereby European Union citizens can have their third level fees paid while they are participating in third level education here; if similar reciprocal arrangements apply in each of the other European Union member states; the numbers in relation to other member states covered by this in relation to third level institutions here; the costs involved; the reciprocal payments made by other member states for Irish students studying in these member states; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40301/15]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 522 and 523 together.
The position is that under my Department's free fees schemes, the Exchequer provides funding towards tuition fee costs in respect of eligible students who are pursuing full-time undergraduate courses of study. The main conditions of the scheme are that students must be first-time undergraduates, hold inter alia EU/EEA/Swiss nationality in their own right, and have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to an approved third level course. Funding under the schemes is only available in respect of approved courses in this State. Details on the number of students from the UK who received assistance under the free fees schemes is not available in my Department.
In addition under my Department's Student Grant Scheme, eligible students from the UK, studying in the State, who meet the residency requirement for a fee grant may have their fee/student contribution paid on their behalf. I am informed by SUSI that in the 2014/15 academic year, it paid fees (including student contribution) under the Student Grant Scheme in the amount of €135,333 to 57 students with an address in the UK at the time of application who were participating on approved higher education courses in the State.
Students from the State attending an approved higher education course, at undergraduate level, in an approved institution in the UK are eligible under the Student Grant Scheme to apply for a student grant towards maintenance from SUSI, however, the Scheme does not extend to the payment of undergraduate fees to institutions outside the State.
Under EU legislation, students from this State wishing to study in another EU State are similarly entitled to avail of the supports available in the EU State in which they wish to study. Details of the domiciliary of origin of all full-time third level students in the higher education institutions under the designation of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) are available on the HEA's website, www.hea.ie.