Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (239)

John Brassil


239. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to restore the student assistance fund to pre-2012 rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36784/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

In December 2012, an additional €3 million was approved to supplement the Student Assistance Fund following a survey conducted by the HEA in relation to the demand for the Fund.

This supplementary funding was a once-off exceptional measure which was taken in the context of long grant delays/issues encountered by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) in the initial year of operation.

In academic year 2011/12 €9 million was allocated to the SAF.  The core allocation in 2019/2010 is €9.1 million. This includes an additional €1 million added in 2017 for part-time students who are lone parents or members of the access target groups.

A further once off €1 million was added to the fund in 2018/19 for students attending Professional Masters of Education courses who were experiencing financial difficulty. This additional funding will be continued for 2019/20. The total 2019/2020 allocation for the SAF therefore remains at €10.1 million.