Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (243)

Catherine Martin


243. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if asylum seekers are regarded as international students for the purposes of third level fees; if so, his plans to change this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34685/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The fee payable by a student can vary depending on a variety factors including the type of course and the student's access route including previous education.

 Under the Departments Free Fees Initiative, the Exchequer pays tuition fees on behalf of eligible students attending approved full-time undergraduate courses. In order to qualify for funding under the Department’s Free Fees Initiative, students must meet the criteria of the scheme including the separate residency and nationality/citizenship requirements of the scheme.

Persons in the asylum application process are not eligible to access the Free Fees Initiative.

Where students do not qualify for free fees funding, they must pay the appropriate fee, either EU or Non-EU, as determined by each higher education institution. These institutions are autonomous bodies and the level of fee payable by students who do not meet the requirements of the free fees scheme is a matter for the relevant institution to determine in accordance with their own criteria; the Department therefore has no role in the decision.