With the SUSI debacle leavings thousands of Galway students still waiting for their grant applications to be processed, a local TD has called on the Education Minister to “sort out” the issue.
Fine Gael Galway East TD Paul Connaughton is calling for extra resources to be put into the City of Dublin VEC to ensure that students awaiting grants before Christmas are paid.
The City of Dublin VEC tendered to provide the centralised grant service, which resulted in the application system being taken out of County Galway. Dep Connaughton said that “to say that the system has proved hugely frustrating for students and parents would be a huge understatement”.
He said parents are “spending hard earned euro on hold waiting to speak to someone in SUSI, and even those who have been approved for the grant are still facing delays”.
Dep Connaughton said that while extra resources have been put into the system in recent days, “major difficulties” remain and “much more needs to be done” to ensure all grants will be finalised by the end of the year.
“Lessons have to be learned from this debacle, not least that such centralisation of services is not always a good idea,” he said. “I would urge Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to ensure all necessary resources are put in place in coming weeks to sort out the remaining grants.”