Students and parents are being encouraged to join in an online meeting next Thursday with Minister Simon Harris and Galway Senator Aisling Dolan, to voice their opinions on SUSI grant scheme.
The public consultation meeting will take place on Zoom on Thursday 25 February at 7pm, and and parents of 5th Year and Leaving Certificate students are especially invited to join the conversation, as well as those in first and second year of college.
Senator Dolan said she planned this event for some time, having worked in the Third Level education sector herself and being very mindful of the needs of families.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for students and their families to give direct feedback on the SUSI programme at the most senior level with Minister Simon Harris,” said Senator Dolan.
“SUSI gives students support as they continue their studies after secondary schools. We have many areas of disadvantage and families who are struggling to ensure students can get by in college.
“We also have more single parent families who are facing additional challenges. Now is the time to see that the SUSI support programme is fit for purpose.”
Minister Simon Harris said he was looking forward to speaking to families and students in the Galway area.
He said that the student grant scheme opens the door for many people to access further and higher education.
“However, the scheme has remained static despite significant changes in Irish society in recent years,” said Minister Harris.
“We are likely to see an increase in grant holders next year as a result of the pandemic.
“It is timely to now review the scheme administered by SUSI and, having received the approval of Government to undertake this, we are now moving to consult with stakeholders.
“I want this review to consider the current challenges facing students and to find out what we can do better.
“The review’s terms of reference include examining the value of the maintenance grants and income thresholds, the availability of grants for part-time students, adjacent and non-adjacent rates, supports for postgraduates and how Ireland compares against other jurisdictions.”
The review will report back to the Minister this summer and will help inform decisions in the context of Budget 2022.
“In the meantime we want to hear from you and I am delighted to be joining Senator Aisling Dolan at an online event she has organised to seek the feedback of her constituents,” added Minister Harris.
Senator Dolan encouraged all parents and students to attend the meeting on Zoom. There is also an option to dial for those who have limited or no access Wi-Fi.