Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Charges
198. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of reducing the student contribution charge by €250, €500, €1,000, €2,000 and €3,000, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17767/17]
Based on the number of students that qualified for free fees funding in the academic year 2014/15, and taking into account overall expected increases in student numbers, it is estimated that the net cost to my Department of reducing the Student Contribution by €250 would be €17m; by €500 would be €34m; by €1,000 would be €68m; by €2,000 would be €136m and €3,000 would be €204m.
The above figures take into account the resulting reduction to my Department's Student Grant Scheme budget.
As the Deputy will be aware the report of the Expert Group on the Future Funding of Higher Education is currently being examined by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills with a view to making recommendations on a long-term sustainable funding model for higher education.
It will be important to obtain political and societal consensus on achieving a sustainable funding model for the higher education sector in the future and my Department and I continue to work with the committee as it undertakes its deliberations.