Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (333)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

333. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost to increase the student assistance fund and support scheme for students with disabilities by 20% each. [35258/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is designed to support students in third-level institutions who are experiencing exceptional financial need. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances.

The current allocation for SAF amounts to €9.1m therefore an increase of 20% would be estimated at €10.92m, an increase of €1.82m from current allocation.

The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) provides financial support to higher education institutions to ensure that they are adequately resourced to cater for the needs of students with disabilities.

The Fund provides grants towards the individual needs assessment, provision of services, purchase of equipment and provision of academic supports for students with disabilities.  The scheme applies to students who have serious sensory, physical and/or communicative disabilities, including dyslexia.

The current allocation for FSD amounts to €9.6m therefore an increase of 20% would be estimated at €11.52m, an increase of €1.92m from current allocation.