Will new course fees preclude UK students studying in Ireland?
Irish students are, after the French, the largest EU group in UK universities as UK students are in Ireland
Ireland’s Education Minister Richard Bruton has said the country will do all it can to ensure minimal disruption to Irish students studying in Britain and British-born students in Ireland following Brexit.
“We will do our utmost in discussions to maintain the Common Travel Area and minimise any possible disruption to the flow of people, goods and services between these islands,” said Mr. Bruton.
He said the same applied to academic mobility and cooperation. Ireland’s Opposition Education spokesman Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fail sought assurances that Irish students in Britain will continue to be able to study without increased fees or residency issues.
Mr Byrne said: “The result of the Brexit vote could see Irish students having to pay costly non-EU fees to study in Britain and Northern Ireland. Similarly, students from Britain and Northern Ireland will have to pay non-EU fees to study in Irish universities and Institutes of Technology (technical colleges).
“We need to ensure that existing students will be able to continue their studies and make provisions so that the current third-level options for students in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain remain open to them.”
Irish students in Scotland have do not pay fees because of their EU status – although English students must pay.
In England, Northern Ireland and Wales EU students’ fess are currently capped at £9,000 in England, £3,900 in Wales and £3,925 in Northern Ireland. For international students there is no limit.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK said there will be no immediate changes, with existing rules applying for the coming academic year. Ireland supplies the second highest number of EU students to UK universities, behind France, at an average of 2,429 every year for the past ten years, according to Ucas.
UK-born students studying in Ireland, and that includes many from Irish families in this country, potentially face huge increases in college fees after Britain leaves the EU.
In Trinity College Dublin, undergraduate EU students pay just under €6,000 a year for an Arts course but non-EU students pay nearly €18,000 for the same course. British students accounted for almost half of all EU students studying in Ireland.
The European University Association (EUA), which represents 47 countries across Europe, said: “The EUA is very concerned about the insecurity this causes, notably with regard to the participation of British universities in the EU funding programmes, as well as the long-term consequences for European co-operation in research and education.”