Written answers

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Charges

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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171. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated first and full year costs of reducing student contributions to third level fees by €100. [40749/17]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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It is estimated that the net full-year cost to my Department of reducing the Student Contribution by €100 would be €7.5m. The first year cost (i.e. for Sep-Dec 2018) is estimated at €1.5m.

Calculations are based on student numbers for the academic year 2016/17 and take into account the resulting reduction to my Department's Student Grant Scheme budget.

It should be noted that the Government is committed to providing a more sustainable funding model for higher education, as evidenced by the fact that Budget 2017 provided the first increase in investment in higher education since 2009, involving €36.5million extra funding in 2017 and €160million extra over 3 years. In addition, the Government is exploring the possibility of an employer-exchequer funding mechanism which could realise up to €200million in additional annual funding by 2020.  

It should be noted that the Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education found that abolishing student registration fees for undergraduate students while delivering the level of investment that the higher education system needs would cost the State €1.3billion extra per annum.


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