Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (116)

Heather Humphreys

Question:

116. Deputy Heather Humphreys asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of applications processed by Student Universal Support Ireland for the 2013-14 academic year; if he will provide comparative figures for the 2012-13 academic year; if he will outline on a county basis the number of students who have received payment; the total amount paid to applicants to date; the number of applications still awaiting processing; his views on the progress made this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45537/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials in my Department have been informed by Student Universal Support Ireland that all 59,000 applications received by the 5 August closing date have been processed and that 4,000 new applications received following the closing date and up to early September have also been processed. 3,600 new applications received since early September are currently being processed but priority is being given to applications received before the closing date and to the final assessment of those applications for which documents were submitted on time.

Currently, SUSI has processed 35,000 of the 41,000 applications in respect of which documents were received before the 24 September deadline for submitting documents. The remaining 6,000 applications will be processed by end-October. A further 8,000 applications in respect of which documents were received after the 24 September deadline will then be processed during November.

Regarding the 2012/13 academic year, by late September 2012, just over 6,500 students had returned their documents on time and 4,300 of these applications had been processed at the final assessment stage. Data is not yet available from SUSI on the total number, or a breakdown on a county by county basis, of payments made to students.

For the 2013/14 academic year the grants administration process has undergone significant development to enhance its effectiveness and deal with the difficulties experienced last year. I am assured by City of Dublin Education and Training Board that SUSI is continuing to develop and improve its services and will deliver a much-improved service to students in 2013.