Thursday, 10 September 2020

Ceisteanna (157)

Gerald Nash


157. Deputy Ged Nash asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science his plans to decrease the qualifying criteria for the non-adjacent rate of the SUSI grant from 45 km to 24 km; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23070/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Further and Higher Education)

The Student Grant Scheme, administered by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), provides grant assistance to eligible students attending an approved course at an approved institution who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means.

Student maintenance grants are payable at either the adjacent or non-adjacent rate. The distance to be measured is the shortest non-tolled most direct route from the student’s residence to the institution attended. The adjacent rate of maintenance grant is payable in the case of students whose normal residence is 45km or less from the approved institution which he or she is attending. The non-adjacent rate of maintenance grant is payable in all other cases.

The current qualifying distance of 45km for the higher non-adjacent rate of student grant, takes into account a reasonable radius within which students may commute on a daily basis.

The Deputy will appreciate that the funding allocation for the student grant scheme is determined in the context of the overall estimates and budgetary process undertaken by all Government Departments. However, all proposals made in relation to SUSI grant expenditure will be considered in the context of Budget 2021, having regard to overall resource constraints and other competing demands in the further and higher education sector.