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Regularising third level fees for migrant families will ensure greater fairness – Deputy Jonathan O’Brien

26 July, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD has welcomed this week’s announcement by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) that migrant families living in Ireland will be treated in the same way as any Irish student who enters third level education.

Deputy O’Brien said: “I welcome the decision by the Department of Education and Skills to standardise fees for students from migrant families attending higher education in Ireland.

“The changes announced on Thursday by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn will mean Leaving Cert students who are legally resident in the 26 counties, and who have an Irish or EU passport, will pay the standard registration fee of €2,500 as opposed to the €10,000 to €12,000 paid by international students.

“It will also mean these students can apply for a number of other grants related to higher education.

“Up until now, the fees charged to migrant families prevented many from attending third level education courses and regularising the system will ease this considerable financial burden and make things more equitable.

“I understand that Minister Quinn has been in contact with the Higher Education Authority who he is instructing to enter discussions with all institutions in the sector to adopt a single practice and fee structure for migrant family students who do not hold EU citizenship.

“Up until now an estimated 700 students a year were directly affected by restrictions on education access and I would like to commend the work of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland who for the past two years have campaigned for this important change.”

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