Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (190)

Pearse Doherty


190. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason €2 million less was spent on the SUSI grant in 2019. [28522/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

In the published Revised Estimates Volume (REV) for 2019, the allocation for student support and related expenditure is €404,450,000. This figure will cover costs associated with SUSI grants and related activities plus expenditure on other access related activities to support various disadvantaged initiatives such as the Student Assistance Fund (SAF), the Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) and the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH).

The Deputy will be aware that the SUSI grant scheme, SAF and FSD are all demand led schemes and expenditure can vary from year to year, depending on demand. The figures for SUSI grants are not yet finalised for 2018/19 however, to date circa 79,500 students have been assessed as eligible for SUSI grant support. The latest academic year that statistics are available for the SAF and FSD is 2017/18 and in that year almost 27,500 students received supports from these schemes. It is anticipated that similar numbers of students will qualify for support under the three schemes in 2019/20.

As in previous years, the level of expenditure and demand on each of the schemes will remain under review throughout the year. It is anticipated that the 2019 REV allocation will meet the anticipated demand on the various schemes for which funding has been provided.