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Sunday 24 September 2017

Third-level fees abolished for migrants with Irish citizenship

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

EDUCATION Minister Ruairi Quinn has abolished third-level fees for hundreds of migrant students who have acquired Irish citizenship.

Under the current system, students without Irish or EU citizenship are obliged to pay annual fees of up to €10,000.

Mr Quinn said he was now changing the system so that migrant students who become Irish citizens during their third- level education would no longer be forced to continue paying the high fees.

"This Government has introduced citizenship ceremonies for new Irish citizens, and this policy change will follow on from that development, and ensure that new citizens will be treated exactly the same as those born in Ireland," he said.

According to the Higher Education Authority, the change is expected to benefit about 600 migrant students over the next four years. The Union of Students of Ireland said it would provide greater third-level access to children of first-generation immigrants.

However, there are restrictions in place to ensure that students cannot arrive here from non-European countries, claim Irish citizenship and qualify for free fees immediately.

Irish Independent

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