Kerry TD queries cost of expanding third level education grant

A Kerry TD has queried how much it would cost to expand a third level education grant.

Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil raised the issue of the Back to Education Allowance in the Dáil recently during parliamentary questions.

The Back to Education Allowance provides people with a second chance education, to improve their prospects of securing employment.

Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of expanding the allowance.

He queried the potential cost of extending the allowance to SUSI-approved postgraduate courses.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, says the allowance is not intended to provide a basis for a long-duration participation in extended education.

She claims the annual average allowance cost for a 3rd level student per academic year is €8,500.

The minister adds it would be difficult to estimate the cost of making the BTEA available for all postgraduate students, as it’s not possible to determine the number of people on welfare support who would be likely to pursue postgraduate studies.