29th September, 2022
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has today (September 29th) announced third level students will receive an extra boost in their grant payments as part of measures agreed by Budget 2023.
Every SUSI maintenance grant recipient will receive an additional payment before Christmas and their grants will increase from January.
These measures will significantly improve the amount of maintenance supports that a student receives. For example, when you combine these measures a student on the non-adjacent special rate of grant will receive over €1,000 in this academic year.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “It is my job as Minister to ensure every person, regardless of their background, has the same opportunity to access further and higher education.
“The student maintenance grant is a vital tool in helping us deliver fairness and equality for students across our education sector, but we know it can do more.
“That’s why as part of Budget 2023 we are making significant changes which will see students have more money in their pockets to help them tackle the challenges posed by the cost of living crisis.”
The student maintenance grant rates will increase effective from January 2023. This will mean that from January, the Special and Band 1 maintenance grant rates will increase by 14% and all other maintenance grant rates will increase by 10%.
Students in the current academic year will see their grant payments increase proportionately once this measure comes into effect in January.
As an immediate measure, funding of €17.4m has also been provided for a once-off extra payment equivalent to one month’s maintenance for all student maintenance grant recipients to also be made by this December.
Other measures include:
- All apprenticeship fees will be reduced by a third this year;
- For mature “Second Chance” students the time period for a full break in studies will be reduced from 5 years to 3;
- Income up to €14,000 generated under the Government’s rent-a-room scheme will not be considered when calculating reckonable income for the 2023/24 student grant scheme;
- A once-off €1,000 reduction in the undergraduate student contribution fee for higher education students eligible for the free fees initiative;
- A once-off reduction of up to 33% in the contribution fee for apprentices;
- A once-off increase of €1,000 to support Post Graduate Students who meet the eligibility criteria for a Postgraduate Fee Contribution Grant, under the Student Grant Scheme, increasing from €3500 to €4,500;
- A further €8 million investment in the Student Assistance Fund for the 2022/23 academic year;
Minister Harris added: “Giving students and their families some peace of mind in these challenging times is at the heart of everything we are trying to do with these Budget measures.
“That’s why we have reduced the student contribution fee for this academic year by €1,000, and ensured that apprentices will also see their fees cut by a third.
“We are also conscious of the struggles PhD students are facing, so those in receipt of awards from the SFI or IRC will see their stipend increase by €500.
“And the Student Assistance Fund, which helps so many students who continue to struggle financially, will see an additional €8 million invested in it for the 2022/23 academic year.”