Budget changes ‘will hit mature student applications’

The recent rise in mature student applications through the CAO may be a false dawn, according to the National Adult Learning Organisation AONTAS.

AONTAS Director Berni Brady said that many adults who applied through the CAO may not be in the position financially to pursue a third level education.

Measures introduced in Budget 2010 will take effect from September, and mean that those qualifying for the Back to Education Allowance scheme will no longer be eligible for the student maintenance grant.

“For an adult the maintenance grant can mean up to €6,690 per year, and is vital in terms of providing additional finance for someone who may be struggling with the costs of education,” Ms Brady said.

“From what we are hearing, some adults are seriously reconsidering their applications as the removal of the maintenance grant will mean that a third level education is simply unaffordable and may not be in a position to take up a place if accepted.”

Ms Brady called for a “more unified approach and strategy” towards the challenge of upskilling, retraining and responding to the needs of a growing number of people experiencing unemployment and redundancy.

“With these new changes to the grants system, it amounts to giving with one hand and taking away with the other,” she said.

A total of 71,869 applications were received by the CAO this year, a 6% increase on 2009 figures.

More in this Section

Over half of hospital admissions due to eating disorders last year related to childrenOver half of hospital admissions due to eating disorders last year related to children

Inquiry into IBRC could end up costing over €30mInquiry into IBRC could end up costing over €30m

Gardaí seek relatives or friends of man found dead after going missing in 2011Gardaí seek relatives or friends of man found dead after going missing in 2011

Climate Action Plan needs to be fully implemented to meet EU targetsClimate Action Plan needs to be fully implemented to meet EU targets


Lifestyle

Dónal Clancy is a musician from An Rinn in Co Waterford. He will perform the music of his late father, Liam Clancy, in a special online solo performance on Thursday at 7pm as part of this year's Clonmel Junction Festival.Question of Taste: Dónal Clancy

BETWEEN 1973 and early 1975, John Lennon split with Yoko Ono, took up with his assistant May Pang and embarked on a period of intense creativity and outrageous behaviour. Lennon later described this time as his “lost weekend”.Rufus Wainwright has returned a new man

Stan O’Sullivan tells Ellie O’Byrne about the genre-busting album from 2007 that probably doesn’t get the recognition it deservesB-Side the Leeside - Cork’s Greatest Records: Louder & Clearer from Stanley Super 800

In recent times one of the most recurring and troubling conversations I have with teenagers, in therapy, is around their use of marijuana. Often parents seek out therapy because they have noticed a dramatic shift in their child’s behaviour.Richard Hogan: Beware of making light of your teen's marijuana use

More From The Irish Examiner