No student should be forced to pay for mandatory hotel quarantine
Labour spokesperson on Further and Higher Education Annie Hoey has urged the Minister for Further and Higher Education to urgently assuage the concerns of young people studying abroad and ensure that no student is forced to pay for mandatory hotel quarantine if their travel is associated with education and training.
Senator Hoey said:
“It is right and fair that the State will pay for Erasmus students’ hotel quarantining. The purpose of the Erasmus programme is to give access to all students to studying abroad and the experiences that come with that. We can’t expect either the students or their families to cover the cost of returning home.
“Indeed, we need to ensure that no student returning from studying abroad will face any fees associated with hotel quarantining and there remains the outstanding issue of non-Erasmus students to consider by the Minister. These students must be treated the same, particularly many of whom who receive maintenance grants from SUSI. It would be unconscionable to think that these students would be treated any differently by virtue of electing to study in a different country.
“We all know there is an expectation on a lot of students to pursue further and additional training outside of Ireland for some courses. If a student is willing to take on the additional burden for the development, then we should not ask them to carry the costs of mandatory hotel quarantining.”
“Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop networks, make friends, experience art and other cultures. However, the opportunity also represents a huge financial burden which many students have saved hard for, none of whom accounted for an additional €1,875 for quarantining. Students are hard-pressed as it is.”