Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (494)

Róisín Shortall


494. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated first year and full year cost for every €100 reduction in the student contribution charge. [36753/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Student Contribution, which currently stands at €3,000, was introduced with effect from the 2011/12 academic year. It is important to recognise that there has been no increase in the contribution since 2014/15. 

Based on the overall number of students that qualified for free fees funding in the academic year 2018/19 (and were therefore liable to pay the Student Contribution), and taking into account expected increases in student numbers, the estimated net cost to my Department of reducing the contribution by €100 is €7.9m. This figure is based on the student projections for 2019/20.

It should be noted that the above estimates incorporate the resulting reduction to my Department's Student Grant Scheme budget as the exchequer pays this contribution (or part of it) on behalf of almost 50% of undergraduate students who are in receipt of student grant assistance.