Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (221)

Joe Carey


221. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Education and Skills the financial supports, both direct and indirect, available to self-employed persons who may wish to return to education at third level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5076/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the terms of the Student Grant Scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students attending an approved course in an approved institution who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means.

To satisfy the terms and conditions of the student grant scheme in relation to progression, a student must be moving from year to year within a course, having successfully completed the previous year or be transferring from one course to another where the award for the subsequent course is of a higher level than the previous course.

Further information in relation to student grant assistance is available from SUSI’s website (www.susi.ie) or by contacting the SUSI Helpdesk by telephone on 0761 087 874.

Students in third-level institutions who experience exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Details of this fund are available from the Access Office in the third level institution attended.

In addition, tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners on www.revenue.ie.

In the context of a person re-educating, Springboard is a specific initiative that strategically targets funding of free part-time higher education courses to enable unemployed people to upskill or reskill in areas where there are identified labour market skills shortages or employment opportunities. The courses, which are at level 6 (higher certificate) to level 9 (master's degree) on the National Framework of Qualifications, are being delivered in public and private higher education providers around the country. Further information may be obtained from the website https://springboardcourses.ie/