For Written Answer on : 11/09/2023
Question Number(s): 2049 Question Reference(s): 37819/23
Department: Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Further and Higher Education; Research; Innovation and Science if he is considering the continuation of the €1,000 State financial support towards the student contribution fee for the upcoming 2023/2024 academic year; if not, the additional support measures he is considering for third level students; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In Budget 2023, the Government introduced a range of measures to support people with the cost of living. This included a once-off reduction of €1,000 in the student contribution rate payable by students eligible for free tuition fees under the Free Fees Initiative for academic year 2022/23.
The Deputy may wish to be aware that, in addition to the once-off cost of living measures introduced in Budget 2023, I was pleased to secure Government agreement to the introduction of a permanent new rate of student contribution support through SUSI from September 2023.
For students whose families have incomes between €62,000 and €100,000, a new grant of €500 towards the undergraduate student contribution payable by free fees eligible undergraduate students is now available. I also increased the income limit for students to avail of the 50% student contribution grant.
In advance of Budget 2024, and as I did last year, I published an options paper setting out various possible measures to address the cost of education. I am doing this in order to facilitate public discussion on the various choices available to amend student supports. I will have regard to these options, including any options in respect of providing additional tuition fee supports when making proposals in the context of Budget discussions.