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Republic Of Ireland (Education)

Volume 201: debated on Wednesday 15 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has about (a) the number of students from the United Kingdom receiving higher education in the Republic of Ireland and (b) the number of students from the Republic of Ireland receiving higher education in the United Kingdom; whether the United Kingdom Government pay for the fees for the Irish students in the United Kingdom; and whether the Republic of Ireland authorities pay the fees for United Kingdom students in the Republic of Ireland.

Information is not collected centrally on the number of United Kingdom-domiciled students attending courses of higher education in the Irish Republic. However, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, there were 814 United Kingdom students in full-time higher education in the Irish Republic in the academic year 1988–89. In the academic year 1990–91 there were 4,823 students from the Irish Republic on higher education courses in the United Kingdom. Under article 7 of the treaty of Rome, nationals of other EC states are entitled to have access to higher education on the same terms as apply to nationals of the host state. Accordingly, Irish students who attend higher education courses at United Kingdom institutions, and who fulfil broadly the same eligibility conditions as those applied to United Kingdom students, may qualify for an award which covers the cost of tuition fees up to a prescribed maximum level. The Irish Government have similar obligations under the EC treaty.