Communities should grab third-level funding

third-level funding senator maria byrne st vincenet depaul limerick post news education
Cllr Maria Byrne
third-level funding senator maria byrne st vincenet depaul limerick post news education
Communities should grab third-level funding. Senator Maria Byrne

THE DEPARTMENT of Education has announced €16.5 million in third level supports of third-level funding aimed at helping single parents and disadvantaged students.
Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne is encouraging local education clusters to apply for the funding available. “We need to use education as a tool to break down the barriers of disadvantage, and ensure everyone gets a fair chance. Higher Education bodies have been invited to submit proposals for funding. I strongly encourage our own regional education cluster, comprising of the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College and Limerick Institute of Technology to apply,” said Senator Byrne.
The Society of St Vincent De Paul (SVP) has continually advocated for the enhancement of support for non-traditional students and were welcoming of the announcement.
The decision to provide supports for part-time study was a key ask in SVP’s 2018 pre-budget submission for the organisation.
Funding bursaries worth €5,000 will be put in place to assist 600 students coming from non-traditional backgrounds into college. There will also be supports for 120 socio-economically disadvantaged lone parents. This will be worth €6m over three years.
“The announcement of additional bursaries of up to €5,000 for some categories of students and an increase in budget for the Student Assistance Fund are positive developments”, said Tricia Keilthy SVP Social Policy Development Officer.
Funding of €2.5 million per annum is available for the next three years. This amounts to funding of €7.5m over the three year period.
A further €3m over three years in increased funding for the hardship supports to help students, with lone parents being prioritised.
“Lone parents and their children are the group most at risk of poverty in Ireland today. SVP volunteers see first-hand the positive benefits of further and higher education for these families, including greater employment opportunities, improvements in household income, and positive health and wellbeing,” said Ms Keilthy.
“The measures announced today are a small step in the right direction and we hope that they will be expanded to a greater number of students over the coming years,” she added.

Visit the Limerick Post Education section to read similar articles.