Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (218)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

218. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of the student assistance fund ring-fenced for specific groups of students; if it will continue to be ring-fenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23324/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) provides financial assistance to students experiencing financial difficulties while attending third level. Students can be assisted towards the rent, childcare costs, transport costs and books/class materials.

The core allocation in 2018/2019 was €8.1 million.  An additional €1m was added to the Fund in 2017 which is specifically ring-fenced for part-time students who are lone-parents or members of the other access target groups. Prior to that the fund supported full-time students only. There are no plans at present to change this.

In December 2018 specifically for the 2018/19 academic year, a further €1 million was added to the Fund for students attending Professional Masters of Education courses, who are experiencing financial difficulty.

The total 2018/2019 allocation for the SAF was €10.1 million.