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Written Answers - Third Level Charges

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 16.  Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary  asked the Minister for Education and Skills in view of Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the increase in participation at third level over the past decade, if he considered the likely impact on participation at third level following decisions taken in budget 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2907/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Continuing high demand for higher education is extremely welcome in the context of the steps we are taking to support economic recovery and the development and expansion of sustainable employment opportunities into [295]the future. This Government has had to take difficult and unpalatable decisions which will unfortunately mean that liable students will pay an increased student contribution from the next academic year.

In considering the scale of increase, the Government was highly conscious of affordability and the need to promote participation. Every effort has also been made to protect resources for the most disadvantaged students and to support them in achieving an undergraduate qualification while continuing to provide support for a relatively wide number of post graduate students.

The Government has also committed a further €10m to support unemployed people in accessing higher education opportunities on a part time basis in 2012 through the further development of the Springboard initiative introduced as part of the Jobs Initiative last May.

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