Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (372)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

372. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of extending grant support to postgraduate students. [31673/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Deputy will be aware that fee and maintenance grant support is currently available to postgraduate students; over 2,000 postgraduate students received SUSI grant support in 2018/19.

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to increase financial supports for postgraduate students with a particular focus on those from low income households.

Additional funding of €7m was secured in Budgets 2017 and 2018 to facilitate the reinstatement of full maintenance grants from September 2017, for the most disadvantaged postgraduate students. This benefitted circa 1,000 postgraduate students who met the eligibility criteria for the special rate of maintenance grant and reversed the budgetary cut that was imposed on this cohort of students in 2012.

If postgraduate supports and numbers were returned to the pre-2012 level, it is estimated that additional funding of €44.1m would be required on top of the additional €7m secured in recent budgets.