Student Support Act, 2011

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR No. 4/2011


STUDENT SUPPORT ACT 2011

2011 Number 4

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE MAKING OF GRANTS IN CERTAIN CASES BY AWARDING AUTHORITIES TO ENABLE PERSONS TO ATTEND CERTAIN COURSES OF HIGHER OR FURTHER EDUCATION, TO ESTABLISH AN APPEALS BOARD TO BE KNOWN AS AN BORD ACHOMHAIRC I LEITH DEONTAS MAC LÉINN OR, IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, THE STUDENT GRANTS APPEALS BOARD, TO REPEAL THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES (HIGHER EDUCATION GRANTS) ACTS 1968 TO 1992 AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS.

[2nd February 2011]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

1 Preliminary and General

PART 1

Preliminary and General

S-1 Short title and commencement.

1 Short title and commencement.

(1) This Act may be cited as the Student Support Act 2011.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or different provisions.

S-2 Interpretation.

2 Interpretation.

2.— In this Act—

"Appeals Board" shall be construed in accordance with section 25 (2);

"appeals officer" means a person designated under section 20 (1);

"applicant" means a student who applies for a grant;

"appointed awarding authority" shall be construed in accordance with section 9 ;

"approved course" has the meaning given to it by section 8 ;

"approved institution" has the meaning given to it by section 7 ;

"awarding authority" means—

(a) a vocational education committee,

(b) a local authority, or

(c) an appointed awarding authority;

"civil partner" shall be construed in accordance with the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 ;

"cohabitant" shall be construed in accordance with section 172(1) of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 ;

"course" means a course of study or training;

"dependent child" shall be construed in accordance with section 16 (7);

"dependent student" means an applicant or class of applicant specified as a dependent student in a scheme made by the Minister under section 16 ;

"educational disadvantage" means the impediments to education arising from social or economic disadvantage which prevent students from deriving appropriate benefit from education;

"EEA Agreement" means the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2 May 1992 as amended for the time being;

"enactment" has the meaning given to it by section 2 of the Interpretation Act 2005 ;

"grant" means money paid by an awarding authority to a student or to an approved institution on behalf of the student for the purpose of assisting the student to pursue an approved course at the approved institution;

"independent student" means an applicant or class of applicant specified as an independent student in a scheme made by the Minister under section 16 ;

"inquiry officer" means a person appointed pursuant to section 22 ;

"local authority" means a county council or city council within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2001 ;

"Minister" means the Minister for Education and Skills;

"parent" includes a guardian appointed under the Guardianship of Children Acts 1964 to 1997, and, in the case of a child who has been adopted under the Adoption Act 2010 or, where the child has been adopted outside of the State, means the adopter or adopters or the surviving adopter;

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act;

"progression" means—

(a) the process by which learners may progress from year to year within a course following the successful completion of part of the course as required during the previous year, or

(b) the process by which learners may transfer from one course to another course where the award that may be made on the successful completion of the second mentioned course is of a higher level than the award that may be made on the successful completion of the first mentioned course;

"reckonable income" shall be construed in accordance with section 16 (4)(a)(iv);

"relevant Minister" shall be construed in accordance with section 9 (8);

"student" shall be construed in accordance with section 14 (1);

"transferring awarding authority" shall be construed in accordance with section 9 (1);

"tuition fees" means fees and charges that a student is required to pay in order to participate in and complete a course and includes examination fees, student service charges, registration fees and lecture fees;

"tuition student" has the meaning given to it by section 14 (7);

"vocational education committee" means a committee established under section 7 of the Vocational Education Act 1930 .

S-3 Expenses.

3 Expenses.

3.— The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

S-4 Regulations.

4 Regulations.

(1) Subject to this Act, the Minister may make regulations prescribing any matter or thing referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed.

(2) Regulations under this section may contain such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations or for giving effect to this Act.

S-5 Laying of instruments before Houses of Oireachtas.

5 Laying of instruments before Houses of Oireachtas.

5.— Every order, regulation or scheme under this Act (other than an order under section 1 (2) or 25 (1)) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order, regulation or scheme is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the order, regulation or scheme is laid before it, the order, regulation or scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

S-6 Repeals and transitional arrangements.

6 Repeals and transitional arrangements.

(1) The enactments specified in column (2) of Schedule 1 are repealed.

(2) A person attending a course who was, prior to the coming into operation of this section, awarded a grant to attend the course pursuant to—

(a) the enactments referred to in subsection (1), or

(b) schemes administered by a vocational education committee whereby grants were provided to students to assist them in attending courses in higher or further education,

shall, subject to the terms of the enactments or schemes, continue to receive the grant concerned until the person has completed that course and he or she shall not apply for a grant other than the grant of which he or she is in receipt.

(3) The enactments referred to in subsection (1) and schemes referred to in subsection (2)(b) shall continue in force and apply to grants made pursuant to those enactments and schemes before the coming into operation of this section to the same extent as if this Act had not been passed.

S-7 Approved institution.

7 Approved institution.

(1) In this Act, "approved institution" means—

(a) an educational institution to which, pursuant to section 4 of the Universities Act 1997 , that Act applies,

(b) an educational institution established under section 3 of the Regional Technical Colleges Act 1992 as a regional technical college to which the Institutes of Technology Acts 1992 to 2006 apply,

(c) the Dublin Institute of Technology,

(d) an educational institution in the State that receives a grant out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, pursuant to a scheme administered by the Minister, for the provision of courses of education and training known for the time being as post-leaving certificate courses,

(e) an educational institution that provides higher education and training which is situated in a Member State other than the State which is maintained or assisted by recurrent grants from public funds of that or any other Member State including the State, or

(f) an educational institution in the State that provides higher education and training and which stands prescribed for the time being pursuant to subsection (2).

(2) Where the Minister is satisfied to do so, having—

(a) regard to any of the matters specified in subsection (3),

(b) consulted with the Higher Education Authority, and

(c) obtained the consent of the Minister for Finance,

he or she may prescribe an educational institution as being an approved institution for the purposes of this section.

(3) Each of the following are the matters mentioned in subsection (2):

(a) whether the institution receives one or more than one payment out of moneys made available by the Oireachtas and the amount of the payment;

(b) the policy of the institution in relation to access to education in the institution by economically or socially disadvantaged persons, by persons who have a disability and by persons from sections of society significantly under represented in the student body;

(c) the courses and facilities offered or intended to be offered to students by the institution;

(d) whether prior to the commencement of this section, the institution was an institution which, in respect of its courses, grants were made available pursuant to a scheme administered by a local authority or a vocational education committee whereby grants were provided to students to assist them in attending those courses;

(e) whether the institution is established for the principal purposes of higher education, training and research and operated and managed on a basis other than for financial gain;

(f) the requirement for the development of skills and knowledge in sectors of the economy or employment identified as requiring such development of skills and knowledge following advice received by the Minister from such person who has an interest or expertise in educational matters or the development of skills and knowledge as the Minister considers appropriate to consult for that advice;

(g) resources...

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