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Written Answers - Third Level Fees

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 52.  Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the reason students participating in the part-time Bachelor of Arts, arts and design course at Galway and Castlebar GMIT will, from September 2012 onwards, be expected to pay college fees that will have increased by 70%; if his attention has been drawn to the plight of many students who may be forced to abandon this course because of the increase in course fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19499/12]

 90.  Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if his attention has been drawn to a matter regarding an increase in student fees (details supplied) and if he or his Department have any role in resolving same. [19558/12]

 95.  Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the position regarding a 73% increase in fees for part-time students at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, an increase which could lead to 90% of part-time students having to abandon their studies despite having invested four or more years and previous fee payments in pursuit of their degree; if he will clarify the situation regarding same. [19620/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 52, 90 and 95 together.

[159]Under the terms of my Department’s Free Fee Initiative the Exchequer meets the cost of tuition fees in respect of eligible students who are pursuing full-time undergraduate courses of study which are a minimum of two years duration in an approved institution.

With effect from the 2011/2012 academic year, a new student contribution charge was introduced in higher education. This charge replaced the Student Services Charge and applies to all full-time students who currently benefit under the ‘free fees’ scheme. Where students are not eligible for free tuition fees, including students attending part-time course, they are liable to pay the appropriate tuition fee as determined by the third level institution. Such institutions are autonomous bodies and, as such, the level of fees to be charged in such cases is a matter for the institution concerned.

As the Deputy may also be aware, tax relief is available at the standard rate of taxation in respect of expenditure on fees associated with part-time higher education.


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