I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 and 150 together.
My Department funds four maintenance grant schemes for third level and further education students. These are the Higher Education Grants Scheme, the Vocational Education Committees' Scholarships Scheme, the Third Level Maintenance Grants Scheme for Trainees and the Maintenance Grants Scheme for Students attending Post Leaving Certificate Courses.
The Higher Education Grant Scheme is administered by the Local Authorities. The other three schemes are administered by the Vocational Education Committees.
Under the terms of the maintenance grant schemes, grant assistance is awarded to students who meet the prescribed conditions of funding including those which relate to nationality, residency, means and previous academic attainment.
The Nationality requirement as set out in the 2007 Grant schemes states candidates must:
hold E.U. Nationality; or
have Official Refugee Status; or
have been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999); or
be a person in respect of whom the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has granted permission to remain following a determination not to make a deportation order under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999; or
have permission to remain in the State by virtue of marriage to an Irish national residing in the State, or be the child of such person, not having EU nationality; or
have permission to remain in the State by virtue of marriage to a national of another EU Member State who is residing in the State and who is or has been employed, or self-employed, in the State, or be the child of such a person, not having EU nationality; or
be nationals of a member country of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform adjudicates on a person's entitlement to remain in the State and on the stamp that is awarded where permission to remain is sanctioned.
A Stamp Four does not automatically satisfy the residency requirement of the grant schemes. My Department understands a Stamp Four can be awarded to categories of applicants other than those specified in my Department's grant schemes.
Eligibility for the Back to Education Allowance is a matter for the Department of Social and Family Affairs. Supplementary Welfare Allowance is administered by the Health Service Executive through the Community Welfare Officers.