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Written Answers. - Maintenance Grants' Extensions.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 43. Ms Keogh Information on Helen Catherine Anne Keogh Zoom on Helen Catherine Anne Keogh  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  if she intends to extend the same policy regarding grants to students in private colleges of education in Ireland as to Irish students on approved courses in Britain. [6682/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach A decision in principle has been taken to extend maintenance grants to approved courses being followed by Irish students in Great Britain with effect from the 1996-97 academic year. Consideration of the arrangements and conditions in relation to the extension of maintenance grants abroad is close to finalisation in my Department at present. Students attending private commercial colleges in Ireland are not eligible for student support and it is not proposed to extend the student support arrangements to them. The 1995 Finance Act does, however, provide for tax relief from income tax in respect of tuition fees paid to private colleges in respect of approved courses. The tax relief will take effect in the 1996-97 tax year in respect of fees paid in the 1996-97 academic year.

I expect to take decisions in the near future on the recommendations of a working group about codes of standards for the approval of colleges and courses and the level of tuition fees that should be eligible for tax relief.

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