The government has announced 6 million euro in funding to get more students from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education – with Waterford Institute of Technology among the recipients.
The 1916 Bursary Fund will support 600 students over the course of 3 years. They’ll each receive an annual payment of €5,000 to help them in their studies and could be on top of a SUSI grant if the requirements are met. The bursaries will be provided to 200 students for the duration of their studies in each of the next 3 academic years. According to the Department of Education they can support undergraduate study on either a full or part-time basis.
35 of these students will be in the South section of the funding plan, where WIT is listed, alongside colleges in Carlow, Cork, and Kerry. Seven of the bursaries for the current academic year will be provided to lone parents from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Responding to the announcement, People Before Profit’s Una Dunphy felt the name referring to the 1916 was spin on the Government’s part: “I presume that’s referring to treating all our children equally but you’d have to go a lot deeper in education to see where the root causes in education are stemming from. I mean I’m glad that WIT is listed in it, [but] yes I would be worried about they would pick these students. Often it’s only when you go about applying for the SUSI grant that you see the problems with it.”