Written Answers. - Teaching Qualifications.

Ulick Burke

Question:

617 Mr. U. Burke asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a CIMA stage four management accountancy course at Athlone Institute of Education has not been recognised as a postgraduate course by his Department; if his attention has been drawn to the hardship which this causes for the small number of students involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7574/01]

I understand that the Deputy's query relates to the fact that, as the CIMA stage four management accountancy course at Athlone Institute of Technology, is an undergraduate course, students pursuing the course, who already hold an undergraduate degree, are not eligible for maintenance grant assistance.

Maintenance grants under the third level student support schemes, operated by my Department, are not, with certain exceptions, payable to candidates who already hold an undergraduate degree and are pursuing a second undergraduate qualification.

The question of whether a course is categorised as an undergraduate or a postgraduate course is a matter, in the first instance, for the institute and the course validating body, in this case CIMA. My Department has received no indication that either body wishes to reclassify the course in question as a post-graduate course.