Skip to main content
Normal View

Third Level Fees

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (483)

Mick Barry


483. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science further to Parliamentary Question No. 142 of 1 December 2021, if he will consider introducing measures such as regulations or legislation that would prevent third-level institutions from passing on debts arising from unpaid fees to debt collectors; his views on the suggestion of a ban on preventing students graduating due to debts arising from fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61716/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

The regulation of debt collection is not within the remit of my Department. Debt collection in Ireland is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1995, as well as the European Communities (Consumer Credit Agreements) Regulations 2010. The Consumer Credit Act is under the purview of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and any amendments or further regulations in relation to this act would be a matter for that Minister and his Department.

I would not be in favour of debt collectors chasing students for unpaid debts, and would hope that higher education institutions would show flexibility and engage with students facing financial hardship to reach an amicable solution. However higher education institutions are autonomous bodies under the Universities Act 1997, the Institutes of Technology Acts 1992 to 2006 and the Technological Universities Act 2018. They are entitled to regulate their own administrative affairs, including in relation to their finances and the conferring of degrees.

Question No. 484 answered with Question No. 470.