Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

Billy Timmins

Question:

121 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Education and Science if the VEC student grant to students in third level in Northern Ireland and Great Britain is paid in sterling or punts; the limit of the grant; the changes, if any, made in the level of payment since 1 January 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15416/98]

Eligible students under third level student support schemes in the Republic of Ireland, who are pursuing courses in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, are entitled to be paid the sterling equivalent of the value of the grant. Such students in Northern Ireland, who were assessed under the schemes of student support prior to 1996, continue to be entitled to be paid the amount of their grant in pounds sterling, on a pound sterling for Irish pound basis.

I have approved the following maintenance grant rates for the 1998-99 academic year, 1997-98 rates are shown in brackets):

Full Maintenance Non-Adjacent

£1,652

(£1,624)

Full Maintenance Adjacent

£660

(£647)

Part Maintenance Non-Adjacent

£826

(£812)

Part Maintenance Adjacent

£330

(£324)

Where fees are payable, the maximum fee grant for the 1997-98 academic year was £2,598 punts. The amount of the fee grant for the 1998-99 academic year has yet to be determined.