25 February 2004

Capitation fees for students on apprenticeship programmes

Students enrolling on apprenticeship programmes in DIT and other Institutes of Technology are now required to pay a capitation fee pro rata to that paid by all full-time students in higher education.

The fee, which was introduced in January following a directive from the Department of Education and Science, contributes to the significant support services which are made available to all students, including apprentices. In DIT these services range from career planning to medical services and counselling services to recreation facilities and student union infrastructure. The fee also covers registration and exam costs, and replaces all previous charges.

Students on apprenticeship programmes attend college on a full-time basis for blocks of between 10 and 20 weeks and during this time they avail of many of the facilities provided. Indeed, the Institute encourages student apprentices to utilise the services fully and to integrate with all aspects of life in the Institute.

President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton said the Institute is particularly proud of its role in apprentice education: "Students on apprenticeship programmes are an important part of our student body. DIT's foundations lie in the development of technical education in the 1880s and we continue to develop apprentice education to the highest standards today. Indeed, our student apprentices compete very successfully in international competition, strongly supported by our staff." DIT acknowledges that today's day of protest indicates a gap in communications between the Institute and the students concerned, and the Institute is very willing to address issues arising from the introduction of the capitation fee.

The President has asked to meet with student representatives as well as with other organisations who have expressed concerns on this issue.

For information please contact:

Sinead Coyne
Public Relations Officer
Dublin Institute of Technology
Tel: 01 402 7130Email: sinead.coyne@dit.ie

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