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Category: Submissions

SVP Submission on Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) Review April 2021

SVP welcomes the opportunity to make this submission on the review of the Student Grant Scheme Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). SVP is the largest charity of social concern in Ireland with over 10,000 members in 1200 local Conferences. The Society’s mission is to provide friendship and support to those experiencing poverty and social exclusion, to promote self-sufficiency and to work for social justice.

A core aim of the Society is to address the root causes of poverty. We help empower people to move out of poverty for good by supporting access to education. SVP has established an education bursary scheme which help low income students. We help with the cost of fees as well as accommodation, transport, books, and materials. For the current academic year, our seven bursary committees received over 800 applications. Without this support many students simply would not be able to pursue their education. An evaluation of the scheme in 2020 showed that all bursary participants were also recipients of the SUSI grant, highlighting the inadequacy of SUSI to support students through college.

In addition, over 2,000 students participating in further and higher education contacted Conferences requesting help with general living expenses and costs relating directly to education. Therefore, we welcome the initiative of Minister Simon Harris TD and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to conduct a review of SUSI. Our members also work with Universities, Institutes of Technology and Colleges to promote access and ensure students can participate successfully. We also undertake advocacy and policy analysis on the issues affecting students access and participation in education. It is this on-the-ground experience that informs SVP’s submission on the Review of the Student Grant Scheme.

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