Aisling Dolan, Senator for Roscommon-Galway is to hold a public consultation meeting with Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on Thursday 25th February at 7pm to ask students and their parents in Roscommon for feedback on the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) programme. This is the main financial support scheme for students studying in Ireland and abroad. Student grants are divided into maintenance and fee grants and Minister Harris is commencing a review of the scheme with a view to considering the current challenges facing students and finding out what we can do better.
Senator Aisling Dolan has organised this online meeting with Minister Simon Harris to get feedback from families in Roscommon on the needs of students and the financial aspects involved in Third Level.
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. 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 Roscommon area; “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. 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.”
He added: “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.
Minister Harris concluded: “The review will report back to me 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 on this important priority for Fine Gael.”
Senator Dolan encouraged all parents and students to attend the meeting on Zoom. “All are welcome, parents and students and especially if you are a 5th Year or Leaving Certificate student or first/ second year in college. There is also an option to dial in if it is difficult to access wi-fi.”
SUSI Consultation with Minister Simon Harris and Senator Aisling Dolan
Date: Thurs 25th February 2021
Log into zoom.us and enter Meeting ID 835 4608 3452
Or dial Freephone 01 240 8941 and enter ID 835 4608 3452
Join Zoom Meeting