Tuesday, 11 April 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
449. Ms Cooper-Flynn asked the Minister for Education and Science if grant assistance is available through his Department or from the European Union to assist a person (details supplied) in County Mayo who is doing a degree in a specialist area. [10964/00]
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): I understand that the person in question is in receipt of a scholarship under the Easter week commemoration scholarship scheme and is pursuing an undergraduate medical degree course. Scholarships under the Easter week commemoration scholarship scheme are tenable in respect of one approved undergraduate course and one approved postgraduate course. Scholarships are not tenable where the student, such as the student in question, opts to pursue an optional, one year, intercalated degree during the course of their undergraduate medical degree.
My Department is not aware of any financial assistance available through the European Union in respect of this intercalated degree course. The health research board offers a limited number of scholarships to students who wish to pursue an intercalated degree. However, I understand that these scholarships have been awarded in respect of the current academic year.
450. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Science if there are any exceptions on the flexibility shown in cases similar to that of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10973/00]
In 1996, the student support schemes were extended to provide maintenance grants to undergraduate students pursuing approved third level courses in other EU member states. Prior to this, grants were only payable to students who were pursuing approved courses in the Republic and Northern Ireland. In general, the approved courses in other EU member states are full-time undergraduate courses of not less than two years duration pursued in a university or third level institution, which is maintained or assisted by recurrent grants from public funds. There are however a number of excepted courses including those in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and teacher training courses including those leading to the award of bachelor of education, on the basis that these courses in Ireland were subject to a quota based on policy decisions on the appropriate levels of graduate output.
While my officials are reviewing the arrangements applying in relation to the excepted courses, I can advise the Deputy that there are no exceptions to these arrangements, which are of general application.
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