Thursday, 26 October 2017
Department of Education and Skills
Oireachtas Joint Committee Recommendations
86. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when the recommendations of the all-party committee will be implemented to allow all full time low-income QQI degree students receive their SUSI entitlement and to allow them access to the HEA student hardship fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45428/17]
I welcome the publication of this report by the Joint Committee on Education and Skills which examines the eligibility of maintenance grants to students in private colleges.
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 Joint Committee’s report is currently being considered by officials in my Department, in the context of overall budgetary constraints, and the large number of competing demands on available funding.
The issue of the future funding of student supports has been raised in the wider context of the Cassell’s Report which has proposed a series of options for a sustainable funding model for third level. The report is being considered by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills in order to build political consensus on the most appropriate future funding model. The Committee is finalising its deliberations and is due to report to the Minister for Education and Skills in the near future.