Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

Wednesday, 22 January 1997

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 473 No. 4

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  331.  Mr. E. O'Keeffe  Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe   asked the Minister for Education  Information on Niamh Bhreathnach  Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach   if she will amend the current higher education grant scheme in order to allow students who have already completed the first year of a degree course, and who change course after the first year and enter a different degree course, to qualify for payment of the higher education grant; and if her attention has been drawn to the financial difficulties imposed on students who cannot meet their maintenance costs as a result of being deprived of grant aid in such instances. [1121/97]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach  Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  Under the provisions of the higher education grants scheme and the vocational education committee scholarship scheme, grants are not payable in respect of a second period of attendance at the same level of a course approved for the purposes of either scheme, irrespective of whether or not a grant was paid previously. The local authority or vocational education committee, as the case may be, can waive this provision in its discretion, where there are exceptional circumstances such as certified serious illness. I have no plans to amend these schemes to allow for the payment of grants in respect of second periods of attendance at the same level of a course.

I would like to confirm however, that this provision does not apply in the case of students who hold a national certificate or diploma where the students are progressing to degree courses.


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