Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced the allocations of €17.1 million in student supports and €5 million to support students’ mental health and wellbeing. Additional supports were provided in Budget 2023 to help reduce the cost of living for students.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said:
"Budget 2023 recognised the significant cost of education facing students and their parents.
“That is why we reduced the contribution fee by €1,000 for all undergraduate students eligible for free fees and increased all student maintenance grant payments by at least 10 per cent effective from January. It is why the Government reduced public transport fees too.
“These were important measures in the cost of living crisis. It is also important students know there is additional assistance available too.
“The Student Assistance Fund is available in publically funded colleges across the country and is accessible to anyone who needs help with the day-to-day costs such as transport, rent, childcare, college materials etc.
“This fund now stands at €17.1 million and is available through your access offices.”
In addition, €5 million is being provided in mental health supports for the 2022/2023 academic year for students in publically funded institutions across the country.
Minister Harris added:
“Students have endured an incredibly difficult few years and this fund ensures we can continue to invest in services and in the wellbeing of students.”
Dr Alan Wall, CEO of the HEA noted that:
“The positive mental health and wellbeing of our students in higher education is a building block to their success as learners. By creating supportive learning environments institutions and institutional leaders can assist students in navigating the changes and challenges students may encounter during their time in formal education and afterwards.
In using this funding to provide students with access to supports and to mobilise all members of the campus community to implement the National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework, Higher Education Institutions can provide the leadership needed in the post Covid learning environment to enhance the student experience, to ensure each student can capitalise on their potential and contribute overall to their positive development.”
Notes to the Editor:
The Student Assistance Fund provides financial support to full or part-time students who are experiencing financial difficulties while attending college.
Students can apply for the Student Assistance Fund to help with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties.
The Student Assistance Fund is available to help with costs such as books and class materials, rent and other utility bills, food, essential travel, childcare costs, medical costs.
The mental health funding can be used to:
- recruit additional Student Counsellors
- support implementation of the National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework
- support implementation of the Framework for Consent in HEIs; Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive: Ending Sexual Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions
Student Assistance Fund Allocations 2022
Additional Cost of Living Funding
Dublin City University
University of Galway
Trinity College Dublin
University College Cork
University College Dublin
University of Limerick
Technological University of the Shannon
Atlantic Technological University
South East Technological University
Munster Technological University
Technological University of Dublin
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Mary Immaculate College
National College of Art and Design
St. Angela's College
Marino Institute of Education
National College of Ireland
Saint Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland