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Simon Harris outside Government Buildings today. Jane Matthews

Around 60,000 students to benefit from changes to third level funding from today

Post-graduate maintenance grants will return this year for the first time in 13 years.

FROM THIS WEEK, a number of third level students are set to gain from changes to funding with an increase in undergraduate grants, the reintroduction of post-graduate maintenance grants, and an increase in the PhD stipend. 

Announcing the package today, the details of which were set out in the Budget, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said he is very aware that the cost of college is significant for many families.

Speaking to reporters at Government Buildings, the minister said: “Today we’re taking a number of measures that will benefit tens of thousands of families in addition to that right across Ireland.

“From next week, student grants will increase. Anyone in receipt of a student grant will see that increase, for many people that will be around €342 in additional funding between now and May.

“In addition to that, for the very first time in 13 years, we’re restoring postgraduate maintenance grants. I’m very conscious that the cost of doing a post-grad in Ireland can be expensive and it’s important therefore that we bring back the maintenance grants as well.”

Maintenance grants of up to €2,384 will be made available to eligible post-graduate students.

Meanwhile, a €3,000 increase in the stipend for PhD researchers funded by the Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland is also being introduced this year. 

Minister Harris also reiterated today that parents whose children are renting outside of the home while studying in third level can also avail of the rent tax credit.

“I want to send a message to all parents in Ireland today that if you’re paying for the rent of your child, while they’re in college, you can now claim the renter’s tax credit as well.

“As people will know as a result of the budget, that tax credit is worth €750 this year.

“We’ve also put in place measures that you’ll be able to apply for that to be backdated for the last two years. So if you’re a parent who has a child in third year, who has been in digs, you will be eligible to claim €750 tax credit this year, but you’ll also be eligible to claim the tax credit for the two previous years as well,” Harris said. 

The tax credit for 2023 was 2022 was €500 per annum.

Minister Harris said the changes will benefit around 60,000 students this year. 

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