Written answers

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Department of Education and Skills

Student Universal Support Ireland

Photo of Mick BarryMick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity)
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226. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the case of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53860/18]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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As part of a comprehensive customer service and communications strategy provided by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), to ensure that all necessary avenues are open to applicants to receive the information they need, a dedicated email and phone line service is provided by SUSI for Oireachtas members. This was established to meet an identified need for applicants who choose to engage the assistance of their public representatives in making enquiries about their grant applications.

This service complements the established channels provided by SUSI which include online application tracking, a dedicated website, a telephone helpdesk, email and social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Enquiries may be emailed direct to SUSI at oireachtas@susi.ie. Staff in SUSI are responding to email queries within a matter of days.

Applications to Student Universal Support Ireland [SUSI] for the 2018/19 academic year opened on 5 April 2018. I have been advised by my officials that the student in question submitted an application to SUSI on 31 October 2018 and a decision issued on 23 November 2018.

If the student in question considers that he has been unjustly refused a student grant or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, he may appeal this decision to SUSI within the statutory time limit of 30 days of his decision letter.

Where an individual applicant has an appeal turned down in writing by SUSI and remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted online by the applicant to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board within the required timeframe of 30 days.

Students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Details of this fund are available from the Access Office in the third level institution attended.

Tax relief also is available on postgraduate tuition fees. Details in relation to this relief are available from the Revenue Commissioners.


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