Government to provide extra higher education places with reduced fees

The €30 million package will provide funding for 14,000 places, and is aiming to support workers affected by Covid-19

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has announced funding for 14,000 places in higher education that will be made available without fees, or with reduced fees. 

This funding will serve to support the provision of 11,597 places in short, modular courses and an additional 2,555 places in postgraduate courses.

The funding for the 2,555 postgraduate places will be open to those returning to the workforce, those in employment and recent graduates. These places will be on 207 courses in 23 public and private higher education institutions. 

Individuals who are receiving Social Welfare Payments, including those receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be eligible to undertake courses without paying fees.

The places are to be available across a range of skills areas including data analytics, environmental sciences, engineering, tourism and hospitality, information and communications technology and health and welfare.

Speaking to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Harris said that the courses “will form a further response to the impacts of the global pandemic, providing upskilling and reskilling places for those who have been most affected and ensuring that they have the skills most needed by employers today”.

Back in September, Harris announced that a further 2,225 places in higher education were being made available in high demand courses, such as nursing and law, following the highest leaving certificate grades being given to students this year. 

Later, an error in the calculated grades system resulted in additional places being made available in higher education courses in October. 

Details of the courses available with this package will are to be made available on the HEA website.