Written answers

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Department of Education and Skills

International Students

Sorca Clarke (Longford-Westmeath, Sinn Fein)
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560. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if international travel for foreign third level students is deemed essential travel. [8205/21]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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My Department has informed the higher education sector that, at present, international travel for education purposes should only be facilitated for those international students for whom on-campus academic attendance is essential during semester 2, for example for necessary practical and clinical activities.

The higher education sector follows a protocol which was put in place prior to the commencement of the 2020/2021 academic year, outlining the procedures to be followed to facilitate the safe arrival and return of international students to higher education programmes. The over-riding goal of this protocol document is to support the protection of public health, including that of all students, staff and the wider community. In signing up to this protocol, higher education institutions committed to having the necessary arrangements in place to provide assurance to Government that the arrival of all international students into the country would be managed safely. Each HEI provides assurance that all of these measures have been carried out, by sending in a weekly compliance report to my Department.

Under the protocol, incoming international students must comply with all current public health requirements put in place by the Irish authorities in respect of international travel.

Sorca Clarke (Longford-Westmeath, Sinn Fein)
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561. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of international students arriving for study that have entered Ireland in each week since the beginning of the year in tabular form. [8206/21]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The information sought by the Deputy is being collated and this will be forwarded directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

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