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Harris, Simon

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Third Level Institutions

Was asked: if he will address a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the provisions that are being made to assist the 20,000 leaving certificate CAO applicants who sat their exams in previous years and are now at a disadvantage as a result of the 2020 points inflati...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 349 and 353 together.More Button

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are autonomous and manage their own academic affairs including admissions procedures. The CAO process applications for undergraduate courses on behalf of the ...More Button

The CAO system is a system that works on the assumption that grades obtained in the Leaving Certificate by candidates determine their points. It is on this basis that the CAO system allocates pla...More Button

In order to help mitigate the impact of the changes to the grading system I announced the creation of an additional 2,225 places on high-demand courses in Higher Education Institutions. These pla...More Button

Nonetheless, there were fluctuations in CAO points this year, as there are every year. The changes in points depend not only on the grades received by applicants but also on the number of applica...More Button

I know how difficult a time it has been for students and parents, and I appreciate how disappointing it can be for a student not to receive an offer for their course of choice, but I would like t...More Button

Was asked: the cost to date of all National University of Ireland Galway legal fees in relation to court cases involving a number of staff (details supplied); the estimated final cost of all legal fees in res...More Button

Universities are autonomous institutions within the meaning of the Universities Act 1997 and the subject matter in relation to these cases is for the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) to...More Button

Under the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, the University is obliged to record relevant legal costs incurred in their financial statements.More Button

Was asked: if he will respond to correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The principal support provided by the Department in financial terms is the Student Grant Scheme. Under the terms of the Grant Scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students attending an approved c...More Button

Student Grant Scheme

Was asked: if the terms of SUSI grants will be revised to reflect the 2020 income year, rather than the previous year, in view of the unprecedented financial circumstances facing parents and students in 2020;...More Button

The principal support provided by my Department in financial terms is the Student Grant Scheme. Under the terms of the Grant Scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students attending an approved co...More Button

The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter, in the first instance, for the centralised student grant awarding authority SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) to determine.More Button

For the 2020/21 academic year, student grant applications will be assessed based on gross income from all sources for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. More Button

However, if a student or party to their application experiences a change in circumstances that is not a temporary change and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, they can apply to ha...More Button

In addition to the supports available under the SUSI grant scheme, students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance ...More Button

Was asked: the reason a Student Universal Support Ireland, SUSI, grant was refused in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The central grant awarding authority Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), a business unit of the City of Dublin ETB, administer the Student Grant Scheme on behalf of my Department.

&n...More Button

State Examinations

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the way the leaving certificate process in 2020 impacted Disability Access Route to Education and Higher Education Access Route students; the supports that will be p...More Button

The HEAR and DARE schemes are operated by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) who set the policy criteria for the schemes. Admissions under the schemes are regulated by the higher education i...More Button

Applications to both schemes are submitted to the Central Applications Office (CAO) who coordinate the scheme for participating institutions. As such, my Department has no role in the policy cri...More Button

However, my officials have made some enquiries to the IUA and have been advised that offers to those who were affected by the errors in the Leaving Certificate 2020 Calculated Grades process will...More Button

Was asked: the number of the 6,500 students who were erroneously upgraded in the 2020 leaving certificate results who were given a place on a course through the CAO process (details supplied); and if he will ...More Button

The CAO is a company established by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to process applications for undergraduate, and some postgraduate, courses on their behalf. Decisions on admissions are made...More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Was asked: if the ballet teaching school sector are within Schools, Early Learning and Childcare services and Higher and Adult Education of the Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19...More Button

Was asked: if a sector (details supplied) is included in the Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 for Schools, Early Learning and Childcare services, and Higher and Adult Education.More Button

Springboard Programme

Was asked: if he will address the case of person (details supplied) that applied for a springboard course; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The intention of Springboard+ is to enable the upskilling and re-skilling of the labour force in order to meet the identified skills needs.   

  Eligibility for Sp...More Button

Citizenship Applications

Was asked: the steps to be taken by persons who are entering university while waiting on results from citizenship applications; and the documents that need to be provided to universities in terms of deciding ...More Button

The principal support provided by the Department in financial terms is the Student Grant Scheme. Under the terms of the Student Grant Scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students attending an ap...More Button

Third Level Education

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) cannot continue their course in further education online; the plans to introduce online classes for education and training board-run courses in a college and ...More Button

Was asked: if additional funding will be provided to college and university library services to enable students to access academic textbooks online; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if additional funding will be provided to college and university online virtual learning environment management systems which in some cases do not have the capacity to accommodate the amount of stu...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 and 366 together.More Button

The Government has provided additional funding in the amount of €168m to support the return of students to further and higher education. For the Education providers under the remit of my Departme...More Button

My Department allocates recurrent funding to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to HEA designated higher education institutions. The HEA allocates this funding as a bloc...More Button

I will continue to work with further and higher education providers, agencies and key stakeholders including student representatives to mitigate the additional pressures faced as a result of Covi...More Button

Was asked: if he will direct third level institutions to enable all students to apply for the laptop scheme through a separate means-testing system.More Button

The once-off Covid-19 Grant to support disadvantaged students in the higher education sector in accessing ICT devices has issued to the higher education institutions. More Button

This grant funding is being used to procure devices which will then be lent to students in accordance with application and assessment processes managed locally by each institution.More Button

The equipment funding is complemented by a €10m access funding package which is being used to top up the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) and other access support services in the higher education se...More Button

Third Level Admissions

Was asked: the status of actions taken to provide additional college places to students who have qualified for a different course following a review on foot of coding errors identified in the calculated grade...More Button

Following the conclusion of the review of the code used to generate Calculated Grades, improved Calculated Grades results were transmitted to the CAO on Saturday 3rd October. The CA...More Button

Was asked: if colleges or universities that receive funding from his Department have asked students with disabilities or underlying health conditions to defer their place for a year; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are autonomous bodies and as such are entitled to regulate their own academic affairs and administrative processes. Decisions on deferral of college places are ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many student nurses and midwives will return this week to unpaid placement; if he will work with the Minister for Health to ensure that there are su...More Button

While neither I nor my Department have a role in relation to financial supports for student nurses and midwives on clinical placements arranged by the relevant higher education institutions with he...More Button

In response the Department of Health has stated that the Minister for Health Recognises the importance of student nurses and midwives completing their essential clinical placements in a safe envi...More Button

Currently nursing and midwife students are not paid for clinical placements in years 1-3 of their studies. Financial supports for these non-intern student nurses and midwives are governed by Depar...More Button

It is understood that Minister Donnelly has also asked his officials to review the possible options for reinstating the previous arrangement of Health Care Assistant pay for students who are on c...More Button

Officials in the Department of Health will keep my Department advised of developments in these areas. More Button

Health Insurance

Was asked: his views on the substantial increase in health insurance costs resulting from the Health Insurance Authority decision to categorise non-EEA students studying here on courses of more than one acade...More Button

I am aware of the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in relation to health insurance provision for international students.More Button

The possession of adequate health insurance is a requirement of our immigration services, in order to protect the exchequer from potentially substantial additional costs for the public health sys...More Button

My Department, in its role as Chair of the High Level Group on International Education, has engaged extensively with the sector, and with other relevant Government Departments and Agencies in rec...More Button

My Department understands that the higher education representative bodies are in discussions with a number of registered insurance providers to source policy quotes that are affordable, that meet...More Button

Student Accommodation

Was asked: the measures being taken to ensure affordable access to student accommodation for third-level students; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Student Accommodation Strategy (NSAS) was published in 2017 and is designed to support the delivery of an increased level of supply of purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) by re...More Button