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Review of student support scheme announced by Minister Harris

Minister confirms reform of student support scheme

14th December 2020 - Simon Harris TD

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has announced Government approval to conduct a review of the Student Grant Scheme administered by SUSI.

The review’s terms of reference include examining the value of the maintenance grants and income thresholds, the availability of grants for part-time students, adjacent and non-adjacent rates, supports for postgraduates and how Ireland compares against other jurisdictions.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:”The student grant scheme opens the door for many people to access further and higher education.

However, the scheme has remained static despite significant changes in Irish society in recent years.

“We are likely to see an increase in grant holders next year as a result of the pandemic. I want this review to consider the current challenges facing students and to find out what we can do better. The review will report back to me in the summer of 2021 and will help inform decisions in the context of Budget 2022.”

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) is the single grant awarding authority for student grants. SUSI entered its ninth year of operations in the academic year 2020/21.

To date SUSI has received over 100,000 student grant applications for the 2020/21 academic year with over 77,500 students assessed as eligible for support.

In the context of the increased demands on the scheme as a consequence of COVID-19, additional funding of €20m was secured in Budget 2021. Improved grant supports for postgraduate students was also secured in Budget 2021 and will be available to qualifying students from next September.

Minister Harris said:”We will want to hear from you on this too. We will engage with stakeholders early in the New Year to ensure your voice is heard

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