Direct Provision students no longer have to pay €3,600 for PLC courses
The measure is to help support people in Direct Provision to access education.
People living in Direct Provision no longer have to pay international fees of €3,600 for Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, the Department of Further and Higher Education announced today.
This will apply for the start of the 2021/22 academic year and for international protection applicants who have permission to work and have lived in Ireland for three years or more.
PLC courses are full-time programmes for young people who have taken their Leaving Cert, as well as adults returning to education.
They last one to two years and lead to a level 5 or level 6 qualification.
PLC courses cost €200 per year for Irish and European Union students, while students in Direct Provision were previously charged an international rate of €3,600 annually.
Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said in a statement: "The government has now set out its vision to end Direct Provision and I strongly support that goal.
"It is my role as Minister for Further and Higher Education to ensure there are no barriers for people living in Direct Provision to accessing third level.
"The waiving of the international fee for PLCs will move further towards a level playing field and improve opportunities for people."
He added: "I will now ask my officials to consider if there are any further financial barriers impacting on access to third level education for those in the international protection system provision that can be removed.
"I hope these changes will help more people access further and higher education in Ireland."
The student support scheme offers similar supports to those available to undergraduates in the SUSI grant scheme.
A review of the scheme is to be be undertaken in 2021 to examine the impact of the improvements made and to look at the possibility of extending it to students in Direct Provision who want to undertake postgraduate courses.