Minister for Higher Education and Research Simon Harris has confirmed that displaced Ukrainian students living in Ireland as a result of the ongoing war will be treated as European students and not subjected to international fees for the 2022/23 academic year.
The news comes as part of a number of measures that have received Cabinet approval to support access to further and higher education for displaced Ukrainians living in Ireland.
The new measures include the establishment of a tuition fee scheme for the 2022/23 academic year which will help fund tuition fees and student contribution charges for displaced Ukrainians and Irish citizens studying in Ukraine and have returned to Ireland, and a bursary scheme to provide €6,115 per person in financial support for people attending an approved PLC course in the next academic year.
The measures will also extend eligibility for the Springboard+ Programme and the Student Assistance Fund for the 2022/23 academic year to include those eligible under the tuition fee scheme. Part of the Erasmus National Grant may also be used to fund those eligible under the tuition fee scheme.
The new measures will apply under the International Protection Act 2015 to any Ukrainians who have been displaced by the war, those who had national or international protection status in Ukraine before the war, family members of those living in Ukraine who have been displaced by the war, and those who were permanently resident in Ukraine before the war.
The act allows all qualified people the right to access the labour market, education, healthcare, and social protection on the same basis as Irish citizens.
In a press statement released after Cabinet, Harris said: “I am delighted today to be able to announce this range of new measures to help fulfil the commitment we have made to support Ukrainians who wish to commence or continue their higher or further education while here in Ireland.”
“These temporary measures, which are based on existing provisions, will ensure Ukrainians who have been granted temporary protection in Ireland, have the means necessary to continue their education”, he added.
“I want to thank the further and higher education sectors for the positive way they have responded to this crisis and for their generosity in assisting my Department to identify and respond to the needs of displaced students and staff.”