Written answers

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Department of Education and Science

Higher Education Grants

10:00 pm

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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Question 551: To ask the Minister for Education and Science if she will extend the scope of the higher education grant scheme to include the children of all non-Irish nationals legally resident here. [17221/07]

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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My Department funds four maintenance grant schemes for third level and further education students which are administered by the Local Authorities and the Vocational Education Committees. The Higher Education Grant Scheme operates under the Local Authorities (Higher Education Grants) Acts 1968 to 1992.

Generally speaking, students who are entering approved courses for the first time are eligible for maintenance grants where they satisfy the relevant conditions as to age, residence, means, nationality and previous academic attainment.

Under the nationality requirements of the scheme, students must hold E.U. nationality, or have Official Refugee Status or

have been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State; 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.

It is not proposed, at present, to extend the current terms and conditions of the scheme to include the children of non-Irish nationals legally resident in Ireland.

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