Written Answers. - Education Grants.

John Ellis

Ceist:

414 Mr. Ellis asked the Minister for Education the reason certain courses are not eligible for grant-aid purposes at all colleges in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16447/96]

An approved course for the purposes of the higher education grants scheme means a full-time undergraduate course of not less than two years duration or a full time postgraduate course of at least one year's duration.

To qualify for financial assistance under this scheme students pursuing courses in Northern Ireland must be attending approved courses leading to an award by Queens University, Belfast or the University of Ulster in respect of courses pursued within these institutions.

For the purposes of the scholarships scheme operated by vocational education committees, only such courses in Northern Ireland which are at least of BTEC higher national diploma or equivalent standard are recognised for the purposes of eligibility.