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Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 19.  Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if the single awarding authority for student grants will be in place for the 2012-2013 academic year applications. [2956/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Plans are well underway to replace the 66 existing student grant awarding bodies with one single grant awarding authority. I have appointed the City of Dublin VEC to operate the centralised authority commencing operation for all new grant applicants for the 2012/13 academic year and implementation arrangements are well advanced for this purpose.

It is intended therefore that the new grant awarding authority will accept all new student grant applications from the 2012/13 academic year onwards. The existing 66 grant awarding bodies will continue to deal with the renewal of applications for their existing grant-holders for the duration of their current courses. This will wind down the involvement of the existing grant awarding bodies in the student grants function over a three to four year period.

I am sure the Deputy will agree that this is a positive example of genuine public sector reform. I believe it will ensure a better level of customer service for all those who use the student grant system.

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