Limerick Fianna Fáil TD, Minister of State, Niall Collins for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has announced changes to the support scheme for students living in Direct Provision.
Following a review, Minister Collins confirmed the rules of the scheme will be relaxed and the scheme placed on a long term footing.
The scheme was introduced in 2015 and provides supports along similar lines to the current Student Grant Scheme (the SUSI scheme) to eligible applicants who are in the protection system and who are either asylum applicants; subsidiary protection applicants; or leave to remain applicants.
Previous requirements which saw applicants need to have attended three academic rears in the Irish school system and to have obtained a Leaving Cert in the state are no longer required.
Prospective applicants will still have to meet the requirement to have been in the protection or leave to remain process for three years.
Minister Collins said, “The Government is committed to a new long-term approach to Direct Provision. This will take time to implement but in the meantime, we will continue to make improvements for residents in Direct Provision.”
The Minister of State is hopeful that the relaxing of criteria for the student support scheme will result “in more people accessing third-level education”.
“This support scheme will also be put on a more long-term footing. I am acutely aware of the stress that students feel at this time and I hope that the changes that I have approved will address the fears of prospective applicants,” he concluded.
The closing date for 2020/21 applications is the 6th of November 2020. Any student who has already applied for support under the scheme, will have his/her application reviewed under the new more favourable conditions of the scheme.