€22m Financial and Mental Health Wellbeing Student Supports

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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€17.2 million in student supports and €5 million to support students’ mental health and wellbeing has been announced by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD.

The supports are being provided as part of a €105 million package for Further and Higher Education provided by Government.

€22m Financial and Mental Health Wellbeing Student Supports

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:

“When we set about getting staff and students back to college campuses, we also made a commitment we would put supports in place to make this happen.

“Today, I am delighted to follow through on that commitment with the announcement of two very important funds.

“Students have endured an incredibly difficult 18 months due to Covid-19. They are now back on campus but they still need significant support – financial and other. The Student Assistance Fund is a fund that is in place for students who might be financially struggling, and today we are confirming €17 million for students.

“The long-term impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health has the potential to be significant. We invested €5 million in services and increasing staff numbers last year and this additional €5 million will enable the continued provision and enhancement of student counselling services and the roll-out of innovative mental health and wellbeing supports for students and training for staff.”

The Student Assistance Fund provides financial support to full or part-time students who are experiencing financial difficulties while attending college. Students can apply for the Student Assistance Fund to help with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties.

The Student Assistance Fund is available to help with costs such as books and class materials, rent and other utility bills, food, essential travel, childcare costs, medical costs.

The mental health funding will be used to:

  • recruit additional Student Counsellors
  • recruit additional Assistant Psychologists
  • recruit Head of Service posts for those HEIs employing more than 2 FTEs
  • train HEI staff to enable them to support and refer students to appropriate services
  • raise awareness among students of mental health and wellbeing services available, including through student outreach activities
  • support implementation of the National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework
  • support implementation of the Framework for Consent in HEIs; Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive: Ending Sexual Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Alan Wall, Chief Executive Officer, HEA said:

“Throughout the pandemic our higher education institutions (HEIs) have demonstrated an ability to find new ways to engage with students. Student support services, including advice and counselling, have played a central role over the past year.

“We have seen the enhancement and extension of mental health services to students who have faced all kinds of challenges. This additional funding will allow HEIs to continue to support students and their frontline staff as we reopen higher education again.”

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.

Funding by institution

SAF funding

Institution Total SAF allocation (General + PT + additional)
Dublin City University €1,113,388
Maynooth University €1,072,168
National University of Ireland, Galway €1,247,332
Trinity College Dublin €966,375
University College Cork €1,269,997
University College Dublin €1,413,923
University of Limerick €1,028,276
Mary Immaculate College €393,901
National College of Art and Design €88,868
National College of Ireland €172,902
St Angela’s College €116,981
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology €149,364
Dundalk Institute of Technology €423,560
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology €576,587
Institute of Technology, Carlow €751,916
Institute of Technology, Sligo €615,350
Munster Technological University €1,050,442
MTU (Cork) €812,298
MTU (Tralee) €238,144
Letterkenny Institute of Technology €579,583
TU Dublin €2,085,346
TUS: Midland, Midwest €1,060,515
TUS (Athlone) €417,329
TUS (Limerick) €643,187
Waterford Institute of Technology €886,795
Marino Institute of Education €88,100
Pontifical College €25,720
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland €22,610
Total €17,200,000

Funding for Mental Health and Wellbeing

HEI Total Allocation by Higher Education Institution
DCU €318,000
NUIG €350,000
TCD €307,000
UCC €375,000
UCD €429,000
UL €284,000
MU €275,000
MIC €104,000
NCAD €65,000
St Angela’s €65,000
TU Dublin €564,000
TU Shannon: Midlands Midwest (Athlone IT / Limerick IT) €272,000
Munster TU (Cork IT / IT Tralee) €301,000
IADT €65,000
Dundalk IT €113,000
GMIT €165,000
IT Carlow €208,000
IT Sligo €151,000
Letterkenny IT €127,000
Waterford IT €212,000
Totals €4,750,000
Nationally supported projects €250,000
Sector Total €5,000,000

Steven Galvin

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