Tuesday 27 September 2016

€3m aid for less well-off students on way

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

Published 14/10/2015 | 02:30

There will be an additional allocation for the student assistance fund. Picture posed
There will be an additional allocation for the student assistance fund. Picture posed

Extra supports worth €3m for disadvantaged third-level students are included in the education Budget for 2016.

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It will include an additional allocation for the student assistance fund, which provides funding to students experiencing hardship.

While full details of how the €3m will be spent will not be released until the Spring, there may also be adjustments in the thresholds for maintenance grants.

Education Minister, Jan O'Sullivan also announced €2m to help develop technological universities in Dublin, Munster and the South East.

However, the Budget brought no joy for higher and further education colleges, although Ms O'Sullivan conceded that they would need extra funding in coming years.

Following the unveiling of plans for a major expansion of the apprenticeship system into areas such as financial services, next year, the spending allocation for this sector will increase by more than €10m.

A big chunk of the extra allocation in education will go on meeting the cost of the Lansdowne Road agreement next year, costed at €43m.

The range of other measures contributing to the increased education spend include an additional €5m for the school book programme, on top of the €15m grants provided each year,

The funding for junior cycle reform will increase €8m to €17m, while there will be €17m spent on the numeracy and literacy strategy, up €3m.

The previously announced new digital strategy for schools will see a €2.5m increase in funding for high speed broadband to post-primary schools, bringing it to €9m, while the Music Generation programme, aimed at bringing affordable music education to young people, will see its budget rise by €1m to €2.5m.

Irish Independent

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