Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Department of Education and Skills
Student Grant Scheme Payments
76. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to increase funding for and make changes to the SUSI grant to deliver increases in grants for students in view of the rise in the costs of living; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44821/17]
In 2017, my Department will spend circa €450m on access measures for further and higher education students. This includes circa €390m on student grants and related activities, which is expected to benefit approximately 80,000 students. Other new access measures introduced in 2017 include an additional €1m to support more lone parents to access higher education, €1m for the introduction of a new 1916 centenary bursary scheme that will be targeted at groups are currently under-represented in higher education and €2.5m to incentivise higher education institutions to attract more students from disadvantaged communities.
In Budget 2018, an additional €64.5 million will be allocated to higher and further education and training. This additional funding will allow for targeted initiatives in higher education including skills programmes, performance and innovation funding, technological university development and apprenticeship costs in the sector. It will also allow for places to be provided for 2,100 additional students in 2018. In total, in the period 2017-2018 over €137 million in additional funding will be invested in higher and further education.
The additional funding in Budgets 2017 and 2018, has also facilitated the reintroduction of maintenance grants for the most disadvantaged postgraduate students. This measure is expected to benefit approximately 1,100 students in 2017/18.