€105m Funding for Safe Campus Return

By Steven Galvin - Last update


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€105 million has been approved for the third-level sector for a safe campus return in September 2021. The package will include financial support for further and higher education to return on-site safely and in line with public health advice. It will also have extra support for students in further and higher education.

There will be €21 million of extra support, including:

  • an extra €3 million for student mental health
  • an extra €10 million in financial support to students in financial difficulties while in college, through the Student Assistance Fund
  • €8 million to support and engage with disadvantaged learners, through the Mitigating Educational Disadvantage Fund

Over the summer and into the autumn, institutions and providers, with their stakeholders, will be planning and working to make sure that this happens. Contingency plans are also being prepared in case of a spike in COVID-19 cases, but these plan will still have significant on-site attendance.

€105m Funding for Safe Campus Return

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris said:

“Third-level education has been primarily online for almost a year and a half, and this is not sustainable. The plan for a safe return on-site includes the return of lectures, with some modifications to overall numbers and specific mitigation measures.

“The funding will ensure COVID-19 supports for the sector and importantly, specific supports for students who will return to a new world in September. This will include additional mental-health and other student supports.

“These past 18 months has been a really difficult time for students, particularly vulnerable learners. COVID-19 has had an effect on many people’s mental health. We need to ensure our students are supported as they get back to campus.

“Over 250,000 people attend further and higher education every year. This year, the bulk of their work has been online. We know we had do it and we know why, but we also know we cannot have an academic year like the last.

“We need to begin the next academic year on the right foot, get our learners and staff back on-site, and start the work of preventing long-term effects of the pandemic for our youngest adults. I know this has been a tough year for students and staff but, thankfully, a better year awaits you.”


Whichcollege.ie is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level, CAO and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses and colleges.


Steven Galvin

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