Ukrainian university students will get scholarships and free tuition

Ukrainian students will not have to pay international fees to access third-level courses in the Republic and will be eligible for state subsidies, according to proposals that the Coalition will consider shortly.

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, will present proposals to the Government later this month to ensure that incoming Ukrainian students are treated as Irish when they access university courses.

The likely number of Ukrainians seeking access to the third level is not yet known. However, a help desk that has been set up for newly arrived students and researchers has dealt with 240 queries so far.

The latest figures indicate that nearly 30,000 Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have arrived in the state since the Russian invasion.

The number of weekly arrivals peaked at over 4,000 in late March or early April and has since fallen back to about 1,600 per week.

The main burden on the education system so far has fallen on primary schools and, to a lesser extent, on secondary schools.

A key educational focus for adult Ukrainian citizens has been to ensure that new arrivals can access supports in English through the Education and Training Board’s network.

As for those seeking to access third level education or higher, Mr. Harris said there will be financial supports, including access to laptops and digital devices, under the existing educational disadvantage fund.

The memorandum to the government will also seek additional sums for mental health services to ensure adequate help is available for Ukrainian students.

Speaking on Friday, Harris said that access to education for Ukrainians should not be hampered by “Putin’s illegal invasion.”

“Many Ukrainians continue their education in Ukrainian online universities,” he said.

“It is vital that we facilitate that and universities across the country are already doing that. Providing English classes and helping people to work here continues to be our biggest response.”

He also confirmed that Ukrainian citizens are now completing Safe Pass training to ensure they can work in construction.

support scheme

There is also ongoing work on Irish Quality and Qualifications to help recognize the qualifications of Ukrainians so that they can work here.

He said his proposals will ensure that “Ukrainians are treated like Irish students when accessing third-level education.”

This means that they will not have to pay higher international fees and will be eligible for financial assistance when they enter higher education. This will be the equivalent of the student support scheme, which is available to Irish students.

Meanwhile, a national help desk for students and researchers is serving as a single national point of contact for Ukrainian students and researchers seeking to continue their higher education studies in Ireland.

Staffed by admissions counselors and researchers, the help desk has several functions including: assessing students’ English standards; help them with documentation; and offer one-on-one help to identify potential courses or job options in which students or researchers may be interested.

It will also try to direct applicants towards the adult education guidance services of the Education and Training Boards, where options such as further education or apprenticeship may be more appropriate.

  • The National Help Desk for Students and Researchers can be contacted at: [email protected] or +353 (0)1 474 7788.

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