Students at NUI Galway and GMIT will benefit from €2.4 million in funding for financial aid and mental health supports announced today.
Galway’s two main colleges have been awarded a total of €1.8 million for the Student Assistance Fund, and over €500,000 for mental health services.
Galway Senator Aisling Dolan said that money for financial assistance for struggling students was welcome, as the return to campus means that students in need are struggling with the cost of rent, food, and bills.
“Students have endured an incredibly difficult 18 months due to Covid-19. They are now back on campus, but they still need significant support – financial and other.”
“It is wonderful to be back at college but it does lead to more costs of living and additional shortages of campus accommodation as some shared rooms may now be single use only.”
“More students are commuting daily to college and it can be exhausting fitting this all in along with part-time jobs at the weekend.”
Galway’s housing and student accommodation crisis has continued to deepen in the past year and more.
In the same period many students who work in the hospitality industry were out of employment for a long time during the pandemic.
The Student Assistance Fund provides full or part-time students with financial aid to help with books and class supplies, food, rent, travel costs, medical care, or childcare.
“We also have many students dealing with the after-effects of lockdown and readjusting to life on campus, catching up on study and grades,” Aisling Dolan said.
The mental health funding for NUIG and GMIT will be used for hiring additional student counsellor and assistant psychologists, raising awareness of the supports available, and training staff in referring students to the appropriate services.
Minister Simon Harris has today announced a total of €17.2 million for the Student Assistance Fund, and €5 million in mental health funding, for
All told, NUI Galway has been awarded €1.25 under the student aid and €350,000 for mental health supports.
GMIT will receive €577,000 in financial aid for needy students, along with €165,00 to improve mental health services.