Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (14)

Martin Ferris

Question:

14. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason school guidance counsellors were not informed by Student Universal Support Ireland that the closing date for higher education grants had been brought forward to 1 August. [32220/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The closing date for new student grant applications to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) for the academic year 2013/14 will be a month earlier than last year. The system opened for applications three weeks earlier also. The decision to bring forward the opening and closing dates was taken in consultation with my Department and was implemented to facilitate earlier decisions on grant applications. Guidance Counsellors were, in fact, informed by SUSI of the change of closing date. SUSI announced the change in its presentation to the Annual Conference of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors in March this year. In addition, SUSI contacted its own database of guidance councillors who registered for the "Student Grants Information Week" initiative. Finally, a senior representative of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors is a member of the SUSI stakeholders' Advisory Group and updated all members on these developments.