Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (84)

Arthur Spring

Question:

84. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person (details supplied) in County Kerry qualifies as a child dependent on their parent's claim, and therefore entitled for free fees for third level based on the fact that they are aged 22 years and enrolled in full-time education, despite the fact that they are just short of meeting the three years residency criteria. [42677/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the terms of my Department's Free Fee Schemes 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. It is the student's own nationality and residency in the state that determines eligibility under the schemes. The Department of Justice and Equality adjudicates on a person's entitlement to remain in the State and on the stamp that is awarded where permission to remain is sanctioned. A 'stamp 4' does not of itself convey any entitlement to public services. Higher education institutions determine the entitlements of students to free fees based on meeting the prescribed conditions of the Schemes and in cases where students do not qualify for free fees it is a matter for the institutions, as autonomous bodies, to determine the rate of fee to apply.