Children of Irish migrants and other qualifying European citizens who spend 5 years in primary or post primary school in the Irish education system will now pay lower third level education fees.
Undergraduates currently residing in Ireland now pay €2,500 contribution (fees) per annum and internationally Non-EU students could pay anywhere in the range from €8,000 to over €20,000 per annum, often an average of around €10,000.
The Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, is now moving to lower the fees for certain Irish emigrants and European nationals whose children wish to study in third level education in Ireland, in universities and Institutes of Technology.
The new initiative, announced by the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, is taking into account that many people left the country due to the recent recession and wants to ensure that children who move out of the Irish education system and subsequently return to study at third level should not be penalised by charging them the higher non-EU rate of fee.
The new fee structure will apply to children of Irish families who may have moved abroad for economic or social reasons and therefore were taken out of the Irish education system. Therefore, children of Irish emigrants from America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Middle East and other countries outside the EU will benefit from the new arrangement. It will also apply to other qualifying European citizens who have schooled their children in Ireland or the EU.
Under the new system, any Irish, EU, EEA or Swiss student who has spent five years in primary school or second level in Ireland will be charged the same rate as other EU nationals to study at undergraduate level.
The new fee arrangement will come into place this September.
"From this September, once they meet the criteria of having spent five years in the primary or secondary school here they can avail of the EU rate of third level fees”, Minister Quinn said.