Written answers

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Department of Education and Skills

Student Grant Scheme Expenditure

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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198. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of reinstating postgraduate student grants; the projected full-year cost on the basis of the previous system that was in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30340/19]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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The Programme for Government contains a commitment to increase financial supports for postgraduate students with a particular focus on those from low income households.

As the Deputy will be aware, additional funding of €7m was secured in Budgets 2017 and 2018 to facilitate the reinstatement of full maintenance grants from September 2017, for the most disadvantaged postgraduate students. This benefited circa 1,000 postgraduate students who met the eligibility criteria for the special rate of maintenance grant and reversed the budgetary cut that was imposed on this cohort of students in 2012.

If postgraduate supports and numbers were returned to the pre-2012 level, it is estimated that additional funding of €44.1m would be required on top of the additional €7m secured in recent budgets.

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