Fianna Fáil secures restoration of postgraduate grants

SUSI grant system is now taking applications

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has welcomed the restoration of postgraduate grants and says her party will fight for increased investment in education in Budget 2018.

Deputy Chambers made the comments after SUSI re-opened its application process for third level grants. Fianna Fáil insisted on the restoration of postgraduate grants as part of the Confidence and Supply Arrangement to facilitate a minority Government.

“The previous Fine Gael-Labour Government abolished almost all postgraduate grants when Budget 2012 was unveiled. The removal of the postgraduate grant was a cruel cutback which only made a miniscule saving for the State. It had a profoundly negative effect on third level education and made it virtually impossible for mature students on low incomes, or those with young children, to return to third level-education”, said Deputy Chambers.

“The decision to remove these grants was not only flawed, it was inconsistent with the Government’s own stated policy of building a high skilled ‘smart’ economy. The restoration of post-grad grants was one of the key priorities for Fianna Fáil, which we argued for during the negotiation of the Confidence & Supply agreement with Fine Gael last year.

“It’s encouraging to see the restoration of postgraduate grants. This is the beginning of the process of undoing the damaging third level cutbacks introduced by the previous Fine Gael led Government. The Government needs to continue investing in third level education to ensure Ireland remains competitive on the global stage. Fianna Fáil will be pushing for increased investment in postgraduate grants in Budget 2018.”