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Minister reminds that SUSI grants and other student funds continue as more applications expected

There is a focus on student learner needs and wellbeing at the moment.

Image: Shutterstock/Dean Drobot

SUPPORTS FOR HIGHER education students, those planning on entering third-level and students without access to necessary technology remain in place, the Minister of State for Higher Education has said. 

Mary Mitchell O’Connor said there is a particular focus on learner needs, wellbeing and providing students with “the tools they need to succeed” at the moment. 

“During the period of college closures it is imperative that, as a society, we do everything we can to support all students but especially more vulnerable learners,” she said. 

Funds such as the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grants, the 1916 Bursary Scheme, the Student Assistant Fund and other supports are all continuing at this time.

Applications for the 2020/2021 academic year SUSI grant opened last Thursday with 10,000 applications received by that evening. 

An increase in the number of applications and those seeking to be reassessed due to a change in circumstances such as loss of income is expected for the next academic year.

Support for students who do not have access to sufficient technology and the continuation of services provided by access and disability officers, guidance counsellors and counselling services is the main focus at the moment for higher education authorities. 

100 laptops and 70 desktops were recently donated by Dell for students who don’t have access to these devices at home. 

“Many of the people who struggle to access third level education are the same people who will suffer most during Covid-19,” Mitchell O’Connor said. 

“To those students in very difficult circumstances who rely on funding and initiatives of this kind, you can rest assured that access to these resources will not be affected by Covid-19.” 

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