Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Department of Education and Skills
Student Support Schemes
120. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will make the Student Universal Support Ireland grant scheme, the disability access route to education scheme and the HEA student assistance fund scheme available to students of private third level colleges such as Griffith College in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29395/16]
Under my Department's student grant scheme, eligible candidates may receive funding provided they are attending an approved course at an approved institution as defined in the scheme. The definition of an approved institution is set out in Section 7 of the Student Support Act 2011 and Regulation 3 of the Student Support Regulations 2016.
The Student Assistance Fund which is part financed by the European Social Fund, is not available to students attending private colleges.
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third-level admissions scheme for students with a disability. The scheme is operated by a number of higher education institutions and not by my Department. Any requests for more detailed information about DARE should be directed to the Irish Universities Association (IUA) who coordinate the scheme for participating institutions.
Decisions in relation to the future funding of student supports will be informed by the consideration of the options contained in the Report of the Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education, published in July. As committed to in the Programme for Government, I have referred the report to the relevant Oireachtas Committee as part of the process for building political consensus on the most sustainable approach for funding the higher education sector in the future.
It is open to higher education institutions that operate on a 'for profit' basis to use their own resources to provide financial supports to any of their students that they consider to be in particular need.