€1 million in funding has been announced for third-level students in Galway as part of a new €15m fund which aims to provide disadvantaged students with laptops and other devices.
The once-off laptop grants will be given to over 40 further education providers across the country, with NUI Galway and GMIT set to receive €682,999 and €357,694 respectively.
Welcoming the news, Senator Aisling Dolan said that she is delighted with the funding for third-level students at NUI Galway, GMIT and the Galway-Roscommon Education Training Board.
“Covid-19 has disrupted many aspects of our lives. For students in third level, it has resulted in a changed college experience,” said Senator Dolan.
“This new academic year will see students attending courses online and they will need access to devices to cope with this challenge.”
The Fine Gael Senator said that this investment will help 16,700 students access laptops and will ensure they can keep up to date with their studies.
“It will also go some way to bridging the digital divide, support students and ensure equality of access to education.”
The devices will be distributed through targeted lending schemes run by the institutions and will be overseen by Student Access Offices.
Minister Simon Harris said that the focus will be on ensuring disadvantaged students have access to the devices.
“But we must also recognise many students and their families have fallen on hard times as a result of Covid,” he said.
“We must ensure they don’t fall behind in their studies and ensure they can access this support fund also.
“We still have significant work to do to address the digital divide in Ireland but this will go some of the way to doing that.”
Allocations to higher and further education providers
NUI Galway €682,999
TU Dublin €1,290,463
NCAD € 41,603
RCSI € 64,498
St Angela’s College € 71,748
Athlone IT €272,480
Dundalk IT €257,965
IT Carlow €529,694
IT Sligo €263,885
IT Tralee €151,199
Letterkenny IT €373,339
Limerick IT €384,980
Waterford IT €522,544
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth €13,751
Cavan and Monaghan ETB €211,000
City of Dublin ETB €887,000
Cork ETB €469,500
Donegal ETB €184,500
Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB €489,000
Galway and Roscommon ETB €326,000
Kerry ETB €176,500
Kildare and Wicklow ETB €240,500
Kilkenny and Carlow ETB €171,500
Laois and Offaly ETB €145,000
Limerick Clare ETB €385,000
Longford and Westmeath ETB €145,500
Louth and Meath ETB €313,500
Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB €263,000
SOLAS Funded Groups €35,500
Tipperary ETB €191,000
Waterford and Wexford ETB €308,000