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Friday, February 18, 2011

Government Agrees To Fund Academic Year 2011/2012

After representations it has been confirmed that the Government has agreed to extend support to funding to students for academic year 2011/2012.  

Earlier this week we were contacted by the office of Willie O'Dea to inform us that he had met with Minster Coughlan on our behalf and that there would be a ministerial review of the situation with a decision to follow(today) on the subject of the course fees for academic year 2011/12.

This is the text of the letter received by Willie which he forwarded to us earlier today. A scan of the actual letter is inserted below text.

Willie O'Dea
2 Glenview Gardens

17 Feb 2011

Dear Willie

As you will be aware under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF),
the timeframe for allowable expenditure is two years from the date of the
submission of the relevant EGF application. In this context in the case of the
Dell EGF programme, the expiry date is 28 June 2011.

Representations have been received by the department making a case for the
extension of this period by one academic year i.e. to June 2012 in order to
allow a limited number of EGF clients on higher education programmes who
understood that the academic year 2011/2012 was included in the EGF
programme and who embarked on third level courses in either public and
private colleges on this basis.

I have reviewed this situation and I have decided that my Department will fund
the costs incurred in terms of tuition costs, student charges and course fees, as
appropriate, for the academic year 2011 - 2012 through national funding

I would stress however, that this decision to extend support to the Dell
students for 2011/12 academic year is solely on the basis of understandings
(based on an incorrect interpretation of the rules governing the Fund) that
support for this academic year fell within the scope of the Fund. These
concessionary arrangements will not extend beyond the academic year
2011/2012 regardless of the duration of the programmes involved. Students on
programmes of longer duration may be eligible for support in accordance with
the regulation governing the operation of the Department's Free Fees and
student support schemes dependent on their individual circumstances.

Funding for the 2011/2012 academic year is not being financed with the support
of the EGF, is of strictly limited duration and applies only to a defined number
of persons who are have already commenced programmes that are being
funded up to 20th June 2011 under the EGF programme.

The Higher Education Authority will communicate this decision and the
necessary funding arrangements to give effect to it to the relevant publicly
funded higher education institutions.

FÁS, which is grant aiding the relevant private college costs of Dell EGF
programme students up to a stipulated maximum figure, will duly notify the
colleges of the necessary funding arrangements to give effect to this decision
and the attendant requirements and criteria for same.

Yours sincerely

Mary Coughlan
Tánaiste & Minister for Education & Skills 


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