Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Questions (191)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

191. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the allocations respectively in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019 and the expenditure outturn for each year, for the student assistance fund, the fund for students with disabilities and the programme for access to higher education in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30333/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Each year, the provision for access measures is allocated under the umbrella of the ‘Disadvantaged’ initiatives. This includes the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH), the Student Assistance Fund (SAF), the Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD), the HEA Access Office costs for Evaluation, Research and Development and Special Disadvantaged Initiatives.

The Deputy will be aware that some of the initiatives are demand led. For example, the FSD provides reasonable accommodations for students in need of additional supports. The cost of this measure can vary from year to year depending on the number of students requiring assistance and the type of reasonable accommodations required. As such, there is some scope to allocate monies between the initiatives to meet demands each year.

The allocation for the 'Disadvantaged' initiatives for 2017, 2018 and 2019 was €23.68m, €24.68m and €25.68m respectively. The bulk of the expenditure for the disadvantaged initiatives generally takes place in Q3 and Q4 to coincide with the start of the academic year.

The expenditure outturn for the 'Disadvantaged' initiatives was as follows:

Initiative

2017

2018

2019 (as of 30 June)

PATH

€4,400,000

€2,000,000

€0

SAF

€9,100,000

€10,100,000

€0

FSD

€9,600,000

€9,600,000

€3,300,000

OTHER *

€579,325

€579,325

€109,000

TOTAL

23,679,325

€22,279,325

€3,409,000**

*Evaluation, Research and Development and Special Disadvantaged Initiatives

**The bulk of the expenditure for the disadvantaged initiatives generally takes place in Q3 and Q4 to coincide with the start of the academic year.

The PATH programmes include multiannual commitments for various initiatives. The outturn for 2018 was lower than expected. This was due to a timing issue regarding the roll out of some of the PATH programmes. Monies have been provided for in 2019 for the roll out of these initiatives.