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State given three weeks to file defence in review of college grants

The Union of Students in Ireland is seeking a judicial review into changes of the third-level grants system.

THE HIGH COURT has given the State three weeks to file a defence to a request by the Union of Students in Ireland for a judicial review into the new system of third-level grants.

The court fixed a date of October 28 for a further hearing on whether a full review should be held into the new grants system, which came into force for the current academic year.

The president of the High Court, Justice Nicholas Kearns, heard that the State had been unable to file a defence in advance of today’s initial mention of the case because it was unable to find a counsel to do so during the summer break.

Having asked the court for a four week adjournment so that a defence could be submitted, the court granted the State three further weeks to submit a defence.

USI claims existing students had a legitimate expectation that their grants may not be cut so heavily, as some have been under the new scheme.

The new rules for Higher Education grants, introduced this year, requires students to live over 45 kilometres away from their college in order to qualify for the higher rate of grant payments.

That distance had previously been set at 15 miles – meaning that around 25,000 students living in between the two thresholds saw their grants cut significantly.

In some cases, USI says, students have been forced to leave college because their reduced circumstances.

Students launch High Court challenge against ‘savage’ cuts to grants >

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Gavan Reilly

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