Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (203)

Anthony Lawlor

Question:

203. Deputy Anthony Lawlor asked the Minister for Education and Skills the financial supports available to Irish students studying in third level institutions in other EU member states; if financial assistance is available towards payment of fees in these EU institutions; if a student is in receipt of back to education allowance and therefore not entitled to the maintenance grant, are supports available to study abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11269/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under my Department's student grant scheme, eligible candidates may receive funding provided they are attending an approved course at an approved institution as defined in the scheme. Students who are attending undergraduate courses in an EU Member State, can apply for a maintenance grant in respect of an approved course which is being pursued in an approved institution. The student grant scheme does not extend to postgraduate courses pursued outside of Ireland.

While students in receipt of the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) can apply to have their eligibility assessed for the student contribution or tuition fees for study in Ireland, there is no provision under the student grant scheme for the payment of such fees to institutions outside of the State. However, there is an exceptional provision for students attending approved postgraduate courses in Northern Ireland. Such students may be eligible for assistance towards their postgraduate fees up to the maximum fees limit of €6,270 or a Postgraduate Fee Contribution of €2,000 subject to satisfying the terms and conditions of the Student Grant Scheme 2012. Tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education including approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in EU Member States and in non-EU countries. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners on www.revenue.ie.