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€50m Covid payment scheme launched for third-level students

19 Nov 2020167 Views

Students around Ireland will receive a once-off €250 payment to help them navigate the impacts of Covid-19 on college life.

A new Covid-19 support scheme will see third-level students across the country receive a once-off payment of €250. The scheme was announced today (19 November) by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD ,and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins, TD.

It will cost the Government €50m as outlined in Budget 2021. The goal is to help students navigate some of the upheaval they may have faced during the pandemic. Many of them have missed out on “significant milestones in their lives”, Collins said.

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The payment will be rolled out in different ways for different students. For those on the SUSI grant, their pre-Christmas instalment will be topped up by €250. Those not availing of SUSI will either be able to reduce any outstanding fees by the same amount, or receive a credit note for their college.

According to the Government, there will be a small number of cases where “alternative arrangements” will see the sum given directly to students.

“The Government is acutely conscious of the year this has been for third-level students,” Harris said. “In March, colleges closed their doors and moved everything online.

“The new academic year has also meant little or no on-campus time. Today’s scheme is a recognition of the financial challenges this has brought for many people and we hope it can go some way to compensating students for any equipment a student may have had to pay for – such as a desk, chair or new laptop.”

Harris and Collins are also meeting with the presidents of all third-level institutions today to discuss college life in 2021.

Third-level institutions and SUSI will contact students directly about the payment in the coming weeks, and students experiencing difficulties can text a 24/7 helpline at 50808.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa joined the team as senior Careers reporter in July 2019 with previous experience in science communication and media. With a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication, she is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos.

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