Thursday, 22 November 2018

Ceisteanna (86)

Timmy Dooley


86. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether it is appropriate for a college to arrange for a student from a low income family on a SUSI grant to go to another county on a non-paid work placement for over three months and expect them to both source and pay for accommodation in a housing crisis while also paying for accommodation at the college; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48759/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The student maintenance grant is a contribution towards the living costs of a student.  It is not intended to cover the full costs of attending college.  The student grant scheme does however, provide for different levels of maintenance support, depending on means.  

Universities and Institutes of Technology have statutory autonomy under the Universities Act 1997 and the Institutes of Technology Acts 1992 to 2006. The management of their academic affairs, including the content and delivery of courses, are matters for individual institutions.

I understand that several third level courses, including the Early Childhood and Education Course in IT Sligo, contain modules involving work placement. Students will be aware of the requirement to undertake placements prior to commencing the course.

If particular issues arise for students during the course of their studies, they should contact the relevant Academic Department or the institution's Access Office. In this regard, students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. 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. Information on the fund is available through the Access Officer in the third level institution attended. The fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis.