Third level students in Galway will benefit from a new €1,366,693 fund to help them access laptops and other devices, as part of a larger Government package to help the education sector deal with the impact of Covid-19.
The devices will be distributed through targeted lending schemes run by the institutions and will be overseen by Student Access Offices. Students in higher education institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support via their local access office.
According to the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science, Simon Harris, the focus will be on ensuring disadvantaged students have access to the devices. However, he said he recognised that "many students and their families" had fallen on hard times as a result of Covid. "We must ensure they don’t fall behind in their studies and ensure they can access this support fund also," he said.
New academic year will be a challange for students
The funding has been welcomed by Fine Gael Galway West TD, and Minister of State for International and Road Transport Logistics, Hildegarde Naughton.
“This new academic year will see students attending courses online and they will need access to devices to cope with this challenge," she said. "This investment will allow us to help 16,700 students access laptops and ensure they can keep up to date with their studies."