Written Answers. - Free University Fees.

Michael Creed

Question:

343 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the discrimination being practised against repeat students, some of whom have never received a higher education grant, in the administration of the free university fees; and if she will instruct universities to exempt these students from paying these fees in view of the small number of students involved. [19495/96]

The decision to abolish fees relates to fees paid by full-time students who are pursuing their first undergraduate qualification. Due to limited resources it is not possible to apply the initiative to students repeating years or pursuing a second undergraduate qualification. Such students do, however, still benefit as the fees charged do not generally reflect the economic cost of the course as a result of the State subvention to third level institutions.