Friday, October 23, 2009


Students will be forced to drop out of college due to grants chaos

Conor Kelly, Sinn Féin representative for the Swords area, has criticised the Minister for Education and Science Batt O’Keeffe for failing to intervene in the current students' grant crisis. This situation means that many third level students across the country will now have to wait until January to receive their student grant payment and these students are unregistered and are being left without access to many services in the colleges.

Conor Kelly spoke with Peter Mannion the Union of Students in Ireland president who confirmed that there are cases of students from Fingal who have still not received the maintanence grants that they are entitled to. This problem has been caused by the current economic crisis leading to an unprecedented rise in applications for third level maintenance grants. This has then combined with the block on public service recruitment and has led to understaffing in various VEC's and County Council's. As a result many of the students applying for these grants will now not receive them until January 2010. This is a ludicrous situation and one with massive consequences for students.

Peter Mannion pointed out that many students have been unable to register and as a consequence will be unable to sit their mid-term examinations starting next week. They will not have been issued a student number and will be unable to access many essential facilities in the college.

More worryingly is the fact the many students depend on this grant and without it have no alternative but to drop out of college altogether and join the rest of the country on the dole queues. This is causing real
distress to students and families across the county and will ultimately have a negative effect on the economy. It is no suprise therefore that students from UCD today have occuppied Wicklow Council and demanded they receive the grants that they are legally entitled to.

Conor Kelly emphasised that the facts are that the Higher Student Grant scheme has been dumped onto local Councils by the Department of Education without the resources required to deliver it. Furthermore, local authorities and student unions have repeatedly warned the Government and the Department of Education that they need to reform the grants system but these appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

The Government must take full responsibility for these delays and deploy emergency resources to ensure that no families or students miss out on their third level education.

1 comment:

  1. This is a bloody disgrace,students are the future of this country