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McDonald calls on Taoiseach to guarantee SUSI grants will be processed on time

18 July, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this morning, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald, called on the Tánaiste and Labour leader Éamon Gilmore TD to give a guarantee that Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) process third level grant applications and payments on time for the 2013/2014 academic year.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Tánaiste, today the Dáil breaks for the summer recess.

“We are all too aware of the debacle that was the SUSI grants application system of the 2012/2013 academic year. Thousands of applications were delayed, rejected in error, in many cases lost and some remain outstanding.

“Students will not be entitled to graduate from their courses if their fees remain outstanding. This is not to mention the hardship caused to many students

“This morning we have the Ombudsman Emily O Reilly, confirming that students may complain to her if they are unhappy with their treatment by SUSI.

“What guarantees will Government give to next year’s intake of third level students?

“Have the recommendations of the independent review into SUSI been fully implemented?

“Is the Government satisfied that SUSI has adequate resources in place to process third level grant applications on time?

“It is simply unacceptable that students are forced to drop out of college because of the inefficiency or ineffectiveness of the Government’s appointed grant awarding body.

“Apologies from Government are little use to students and their hard pressed parents if lessons are not learned and better systems put in place.”

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