Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (275)

Pearse Doherty


275. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the impact on returning emigrants who cannot access student grant funding which excludes them for three years on their return; his plans to change the criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34978/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the terms of the student grant scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means.

With regard to residency, in order to be eligible for a grant, a "student", as defined in Section 14 of the Student Support Act 2011, must demonstrate that he/she has been resident in the State for at least 3 years out of the 5 year period ending on the day before the start of his/her approved course of study.

This requirement takes cognisance of students who wish to take time out to travel or work abroad. Such students can still meet the residency requirement if they have not been outside the State for more than two of the previous five years.

It is also possible for students, who did not meet the residency requirement at the commencement of their studies, to have their eligibility reviewed if they meet the residency requirement during the course of their studies.