Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today achieved Cabinet approval for a range of new measures to provide access to further and higher level education for the academic year 2022/2023 to displaced Ukrainian students living in Ireland.
The measure, approved by Cabinet today, will ensure displaced Ukrainians will be treated as European students and will not be subjected to international fees.
The national Erasmus grant allocation will also be used to fund financial supports for qualified persons who undertake full-time studies in Higher Education Institutions, as well as displaced academic staff.
Displaced Ukrainian students will also be eligible to access the Springboard+ programme and PLC courses.
Speaking after Cabinet, Minister 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.
“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.”
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science are preparing details of the schemes, which will be published in due course on www.gov.ie
NOTES TO EDITOR
Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/ec)
The Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/ec), which was adopted following the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, was triggered for the first time by the European Council in response to the unprecedented Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 to offer quick and effective assistance to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
International Protection Act 2015
In line with this decision of 4 March, the Government is applying the rights afforded under the International Protection Act, 2015 to:
- Ukrainian nationals who were residing in Ukraine before 24 February;
- Nationals of a third country (other than Ukraine) or stateless persons who would have benefited from international protection (e.g. Refugee status) or an equivalent national protection status in Ukraine and have been residing there before 24 February;
- Family members of persons covered by (a) and (b) where the family already resided in Ukraine prior to 24 February, and,
- Third country nationals who were permanently resident in Ukraine prior to 24 February. It should be noted that students from third countries are not classified as permanently resident for this purpose.
Section 60 of this Act, confers on qualified persons the right to access to the labour market, education, healthcare and social protection to qualified persons on the same basis as Irish citizens.
Details of new measures
- Tuition Fee Scheme
A temporary Tuition Fee Scheme will be established for a period of one academic year 2022/2023 for qualified persons and for Irish citizens who were enrolled in Ukrainian higher education institutes in the 2021/2022 academic year and have now returned to Ireland. The scheme will apply in relation to the provision of tuition fee funding including student contribution, directly to publically funded HEIs for the 2022/2023 academic year, in respect of attendance on an approved undergraduate and postgraduate course, or authorised transition programmes in an approved HEI;
(ii) Bursary scheme for qualified persons who attend SOLAS approved Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will provide direct financial support, for a limited period of one year, in the form of a bursary of circa €6,115 (per person per annum) to be paid in instalments to qualified persons who attend a SOLAS approved PLC course in the 2022/23 academic year.
The scheme will be administered by SUSI and will not be means tested.
(iii) Extension of eligibility to access the Springboard+ programme
The eligibility for Springboard+ will be expanded for the 2022/2023 academic year to also include persons qualified under the new Temporary Tuition Fee Scheme 2022/2023.
(iv) Extension of eligibility to access the Student Assistance Fund
The eligibility for the Student Assistance Fund should be expanded for the 2022/2023 academic year to also include those who would be eligible for the new Tuition Fee Scheme.
The EU Commission have indicated that Erasmus National Agencies may use part of the National Grant to fund qualified persons. The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will make available via the Higher Education Authority (HEA) a payment of €1,150 per month to qualified persons pursuing a full-time course in higher education using this funding.