The British higher education minister has pledged that, post-Brexit, Irish students will not have to pay higher international fees to study in that country’s third-level institutions.
Speaking in London on 10 May, 2018 Sam Gyimah said he is determined that Irish students will continue to access British universities and student loans on equal terms with locals.
The minister said that the proposed deal will be reciprocal and that British students in Ireland will continue to be treated as locals.
The British Irish Chamber of Commerce conference, in London on 10 May, heard the minister reiterate his determination to maintain and develop the higher education links between the two countries.
Ireland has built a “powerful and dynamic knowledge economy” the minister said. He said Irish students brought valuable political, cultural and research links between the two countries.
British third-level is currently absorbing 10,000 Irish students, many of whom could not access limited places at home, particularly in fields such as nursing and physiotherapy.
Gyimah pledged to strengthen and deepen the relationship in education between the two countries.
"When it comes to innovation, I believe the UK has much to gain from working with Ireland," he said.
"Of 15,000 Irish students studying abroad, two-thirds of them are in the UK. And Ireland is the fifth most popular country for UK students studying abroad," he said.
"Students from Ireland bring greater diversity to our campuses, an international dimension to the experience of everyone at our universities. They stimulate demand for courses, and add to the UK’s impressive research capacity.
"In the short term they bring welcome income to UK universities, and to the economies of our towns and cities. In the longer term, they offer something even more valuable: the prospect of ongoing business, political, cultural and research links between our two countries. Long may this continue," he concluded.