Written answers

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Access to Higher Education

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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693. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her plans to provide third level educational opportunities for residents in direct provision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20505/20]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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An administratively based Pilot Support Scheme is currently in operation in my Department which provides supports along similar lines to the SUSI grant scheme and is available to persons in the asylum, subsidiary protection or leave to remain process.

To qualify for the pilot scheme, prospective students have to meet a number of criteria, including a requirement to:

Meet the definition of a protection applicant or a person at leave to remain stage (other than those at the deportation order stage);

- Obtained their Leaving Certificate;

- Have been accepted on an approved Post Leaving Certificate course or an approved undergraduate course; and

- Have attended a minimum of three academic years in the Irish school system and have been part of an application for protection or leave to remain for a combined period of 3 years prior to the 31stof August of the first year of their course.

The three year requirement was originally set at five years. It was reduced to three years for the 2019 scheme which aligns it more closely with the SUSI grant scheme which has a three out of five year residency requirement.

79 applications were received up to and including the 2019/20 academic year and 11 have qualified for support. Details of the scheme which was introduced in 2015 can be accessed at the following link:


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