Tuesday, 5 November 2002
Dáil Eireann Debate
745. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kildare has been refused the third level option allowance, in view of the fact that only a simple technicality precludes them from qualification and that other students who have pursued the same courses but have not accepted a degree still continue to qualify; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20624/02]
Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): As part of its employment support services, my Department provides a wide range of second chance educational opportunities for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities. The basic intention of the scheme is to direct assistance towards those who are most at risk from long-term unemployment by affording them the opportunity to acquire an educational qualification which will enhance their employment prospects.
The person concerned applied for participation in the back to work education allowance scheme in order to pursue a four to five year Ph.D. in medieval Irish history and sources at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She was a participant in the back to work education allowance scheme from September 1997 to June 2002 during which time she obtained a bachelor of arts degree and a postgraduate master of arts degree in medieval Irish studies.
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