Dáil Éireann - Volume 401 - 10 July, 1990

Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

[1035] 250. Mr. Currie asked the Minister for Education if she has any plans to remedy a situation whereby a resident of the Republic of Ireland (details supplied) currently being educated at a grammar school in Northern Ireland is not entitled to financial assistance in respect of attendance at university because successes in examinations other than the leaving certificate are not reckoned for the purpose of qualification for higher education grants; whether it is her intention to change the Local Authorities (Higher Education Grants) Act, 1968 in order to have equivalence of qualification between the Republic and Northern Ireland, and other EC States; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke): The administration of the higher education grants scheme is statutorily entrusted to local authorities. Section 2 (1) (a) of the Local Authorities (Higher Education Grants) Act, 1968 provides for the making of grants to candidates who, inter alia, achieve prescribed successes at the leaving certificate examination for the Department of Educationa. Local authorities are, therefore, not empowered to admit successes in an examination, other than the leaving certificate examination, for the purpose of determining a candidate's eligibility for a grant.

I have no plans at present to alter the existing statutory position.