Thousands of Irish students who are currently studying in Britain and Northern Ireland are unlikely to face an immediate increase in fees as result of last week's Brexit vote.
Until now, Irish students in Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as British and Northern Irish students in the Republic, have been able to study in both jurisdictions under EU rules.
In a statement yesterday, the UK's Student Loans Company, which provides tuition loans and grants to students studying in the UK, said that all EU nationals currently in higher education and those about to take up courses in August will continue to receive loans and grants under the current system until they finish their course. It is unclear, however, what rules beyond this point.
“The rules applying to EU nationals, or their family members, who have applied for a place at university from this August to study a course which attracts student support are unchanged,” the company said in a statement.
Irish universities have also reassured British students currently enrolled in Irish colleges that they will not face sudden fee hikes linked to last week’s referendum result.
They have also confirmed that any UK applicants planning to enter an Irish university this year will likewise enjoy the same conditions as other EU students for the duration of their degree.
The longer-term issue of particular concern to Trinity College Dublin, which has a relatively high proportion of students from Northern Ireland. It has warned that the vote will have "a long-term impact on universities in the Republic of Ireland".
It also said that it could hinder the long tradition of students moving between the islands as well as important research activity.