Maintenance grants for postgraduate students.

1,100 students are to receive maintenance grants.

The department of education have announced new changes for postgraduate and mature students being implemented in the 2017/2018 academic year on the 3rd of April.

These new changes include 1,100 postgraduate students receiving maintenance grants and changes to the ‘Second Chance’ scheme in place for mature students.

“This marks the delivery of a key commitment in the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade, and will provide Post Graduate students with an important support.” said Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton when announcing the new scheme.

The changes for mature students are a change to the ‘Second Chance’ provision to allow mature students who previously dropped out of higher education to complete a PLC in the five year period of time that they would before have had to wait to reapply for Susi.

The money secured for the postgraduate maintenance grant in the budget this year was €4 million, it is expected to help over 1,100 of the most disadvantaged postgraduate students.

Before this year’s application process, postgraduate students could apply for the grant to cover the cost of the academic year but not a maintenance grant that is received by eligible undergraduate students.

“We welcome the changes made by the department and believe the impact will be very positive for postgraduate students from low income backgrounds.” said Graham Doyle, Communications and Customer Service manager at Susi.

Doyle added “It will make an impact on the number of applications we receive from postgraduate students. This process makes it  a lot more accessible for them.”

As well as these two new changes, an additional 79 DEIS schools are being added to the DEIS scheme for the first time since 2009. There will also be additional supports provided for thirty schools already in the programme.

Aoife Horan

Photo Credit: The Journal