Written answers

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Fees

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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319. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated first and full year cost of abolishing third-level fees. [45168/18]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, under my Department’s free fees schemes, the Exchequer provides funding toward the tuition fee costs of eligible students with students paying an annual student contribution of €3,000.

It is estimated that the net additional cost to my Department of abolishing the Student Contribution is as follows:

Year *First year CostFull year cost
2018/19€67m€203m

* It should be noted that the figures presented incorporate the resulting reduction to my Department's Student Grant Scheme budget based on the assumption of 49% of students who may be in receipt of 100% of the SUSI grant including the student contribution. The first year figures are taken as a third of the full year figures.

It is important to recognise that there has been no increase in the Student Contribution since 2015. The exchequer pays this contribution (or part of it) on behalf of almost 50% of undergraduate students who are in receipt of student grant assistance.

Tax relief provisions may also be available so that second and subsequent siblings do not have to bear the full cost. details are available at www.revenue.ie.

In addition, higher education institutions have provisions in place to allow students to pay the contribution in two moieties.

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