Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

Brian O'Shea

Ceist:

108 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science the proposals, if any, he has to extend free fees and maintenance grants to third level courses provided by the Irish School of Ecumenics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15273/98]

The question of extending the free fees initiative to the Irish School of Ecumenics and its possible inclusion as an approved institution for the purposes of the higher education grants scheme was considered together with applications from a number of other institutions in the course of the review of the student support schemes for 1998.

Due to resource constraints and competing demands within the education sector, it was not possible to extend the scope of the student support schemes to include such colleges at this time.