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Irish students can still apply for college in Netherlands despite missing deadline


 (stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

Irish students who wish to apply for colleges in the Netherlands will still be able to do so despite missing the deadline of August 31.

Students will not be receiving their Leaving Certificate calculated grades until September 7.

After discussions between Irish and Dutch higher education institutions, it has been agreed that the deadline will be extended due to the exceptional circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government is also in discussions with UK colleges to ensure the same level of flexibility.

Around 500 Irish students register for higher education in the Netherlands every year.

As a result of the delay, some students may miss their first classes and orientation.

Education Minister Norma Foley said she is "delighted" with the outcome.

She has also written to higher education institutions in other European countries and the United Kingdom to seek similar flexibility.

“Several thousand Irish students study at universities outside of Ireland every year. The vast majority of these will study in UK colleges and universities, and we have engaged with the UK’s UCAS system to ensure that they will be accommodated,” she said .

“I am very glad that we have agreed this solution that will enable Irish students to register in their chosen universities in the Netherlands this year.

"I acknowledge that some students may be somewhat disappointed to miss the orientation period and/or the first classes in college, but am confident that students who have made this decision to travel abroad for university will settle well."

Meanwhile, university teachers here are meeting with Higher Education Minister Simon Harris to get some clarity on the reopening of colleges.

The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) is seeking clarification on whether physical distancing of one or two metres will apply, further guidance on how at-risk staff and students will be accommodated and clear protocols for online class delivery.

Minister Harris last week announced a €100 million package to help get people back to education.

As part of the stimulus package, 35,500 new places in further and higher education will be provided to help people re-skill, and if necessary, change their careers.

"This initiative will assist people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic," he said.

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