Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (130)

Michael Healy-Rae


130. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to correspondence from a person (details supplied) followed by a medical report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33684/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the terms of my Department's Free Fee Initiative the Exchequer meets the cost of tuition fees in respect of eligible students who are pursuing full-time undergraduate courses of study which are a minimum of two years duration in an approved higher education institution. The main conditions of the scheme are that students must be first-time undergraduates, hold inter alia EU/EEA/Swiss nationality in their own right, and have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to an approved third level course. The Deputy will appreciate that as the rules of the scheme are of general application that it is not possible to make an exception in any individual case. It should also be noted that Higher education institutions are autonomous bodies and the criteria governing the level of tuition fees to be charged (EU or Non EU rate), in cases where undergraduate students do not qualify for free fees is a matter for the institutions to determine in accordance with their own criteria. 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. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners on