Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Fees

Photo of Gary GannonGary Gannon (Dublin Central, Social Democrats)
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654. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to parliamentary question No. 1298 of 14 June 2022, the amount that was recouped from overpayments through student repayments in 2019, 2020, 2021 and to date in 2022. [32815/22]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The complex nature of the student grant scheme means that there is a risk that some students receive grant payments for which they are not eligible, including for reasons beyond the direct control of SUSI.  

To mitigate the risk of overpayments, SUSI implements procedural and system-based controls within its application assessment and grant payment operations. A highly developed quality assurance programme is implemented within the assessment process and a focused programme of independent post-assessment reviews are also performed across targeted risk areas. 

The critical objective for SUSI is to identify and rectify errors on a timely basis before a grant is awarded and thus before any overpayment can arise. Issues identified from quality and post-assessment reviews are fed back into the assessment process through feedback and training on a current basis. 

SUSI has a formal overpayments policy and implements repayment approaches that are sensitive to students’ means and circumstances

SUSI is obliged to attempt to recoup any grants issued to applicants who are not eligible for funding, as per section 24 of the SUSI Support Act 2011: 

where a person, whether or not he or she is a student, has received moneys from an awarding authority that are in respect of a grant that the person is not entitled to receive, the person is liable to repay to the awarding authority on demand a sum not exceeding the amount of money received.”

The below table represents the total amount of overpayments recouped from students by academic year.

Academic Year Total € Amount recouped from Students
2018/19 €181,550.54
2019/20 €234,189.53
2020/21 €340,789.38
2021/22 €72,248.36*
*Data for current academic year (2021/22) may change as processing is ongoing.

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