Written answers

Thursday, 9 May 2024

Department of Education and Skills

Further and Higher Education

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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318. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills what funding and supports are available to students studying psychotherapy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20946/24]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy may be aware, the main support available to assist students with the cost of attending higher education is the Student Grant Scheme. Under the Scheme, grant assistance is awarded to eligible students attending an approved full-time course in an approved institution who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means. The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter, in the first instance, for the centralised student grant awarding authority SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) to determine.

Not all courses are eligible for funding. As the Deputy has not specified a specific course I would encourage any student to check the institution and course they wish to study to see whether it is eligible for support on SUSI's website Approved Courses | SUSI.

I would also encourage students to discuss with the institution they plan on attending whether there are specific supports that may assist a student.

Tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be available in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education. Further information on this tax relief is available from a student's local Tax Office or from the Revenue Commissioners website, www.revenue.ie.

The rent tax credit may also be of assistance to students this is increasing to €750 per individual and €1,500 per jointly assessed couple for 2024 and 2025.

Photo of Mark WardMark Ward (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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319. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the widow's pension is classified as reckonable income when applying for the SUSI grant, as according to SUSI, the widow's grant is not reckonable income; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20994/24]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
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I can confirm that Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (both Non-Contributory & Contributory) Pensions are reckonable income under the Student Grant Scheme 2024 and are therefore not listed as income disregards under the scheme. The Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant is a once-off payment to widows, widowers or surviving civil partners with dependent children. This is listed as an income disregard in the Student Grant Scheme 2024 and therefore is not included when calculating an applicant’s total reckonable income.

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Laois-Offaly, Independent)
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320. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills for details of the number of students in higher education who are living with sight loss; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21078/24]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
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The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) provides funding to higher and further education institutions to assist them in offering supports and services to eligible students with disabilities. The initial decision around disclosure about the need for support rests with the individual.

The number of students in the category of blind/vision impaired included in the most recent Resource Allocation Return for 2022/23 for the Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) in eligible institutions is 276 . This included students who include this category as their Primary and Additional Disability.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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