Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (402)

Denis Naughten


514 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a new registration charge has been placed on apprentices attending institutes of technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1868/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

In 2003 I received requests from a number of governing bodies of institutes of technology for approval to apply the student service charge to defray the costs of registration, examinations and student services, to students enrolled on FÁS apprenticeship courses. The institutes argued that a pro rata charge should be levied on apprentices on the basis that they avail of the full range of services provided to students. The institutes considered that it was inequitable to levy the charge on full-time students only and that the full-time students were effectively subsidising apprentices through their contributions toward the cost of providing student services.

Following consideration of the case made by the institutes of technology, I decided to approve the introduction of a pro rata student services charge for FÁS apprentices to commence in January 2004.