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Adams welcomes Taoiseach’s commitment on Free Fees and Student Grants post Brexit

11 July, 2019 - by Gerry Adams

Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday, Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams asked An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about the availability of Free Fees and Grant Schemes for third level students from the North wanting to study in this state after this academic year.

Teachta Adams said:

“Today, the Dáil heard statements on the government’s update to its Brexit Contingency Action Plan. Brexit continues to be the most serious threat to the two economies on this island and to border constituencies like Louth.

“Earlier this year, the Minister for Education Joe McHugh announced a decision to continue supports for prospective higher education students wishing to study in Britain and for students in the North and in Britain wishing to study in this jurisdiction for the academic year 2019-2010. Minister McHugh then said that this would be reviewed for subsequent years.

“Currently, there are 1319 students from the North attending universities and Institutes of Technology. 250 of these are in DKIT.

“Recently, I met with President Michael Mulvey of Dundalk Institute of Technology, and separately with representatives from the Teachers Union of Ireland. I also facilitated a meeting between public representatives from the North, including Chris Hazzard MP, Emma Rogan MLA, Megan Fearon MLA and Cllr Oonagh Hanlon and DKIT, including Gerry Bradley, the Coordinator of Muirhevnamor Local Training Initiative, Emma Maguire and Donna Conroy from the International Fund for Ireland project in Cox's Demesne, and Manager of the Redeemer Family Resource Centre, Colin Roche,

“We discussed the status of DKIT and its relationship with the Technology University process. We also discussed the likely impact of Brexit and in particular the efforts of DKIT to attract more students from the North.

“DKIT is understandably concerned about the availability of the Free Fee and Grant Schemes beyond next year.”

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in his response, said:

“My understanding is that EU citizens resident in Northern Ireland will continue to be eligible for student grants and free fees as though they were EU citizens in Ireland. So, the status quo should continue for Irish EU citizens who are resident in Northern Ireland. The status quo will remain.”

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