Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)
The Back to Education Allowance is a scheme that enables the unemployed, lone parents and people with disabilities who are in receipt of social welfare payments to enrol in approved full time courses without losing those payments. The only BTEA approved postgraduate courses are those that lead to are Higher Diploma in any subject (e.g. primary or secondary teaching). Other awards, such as a Master’s degree are not applicable. The BTEA is a form of income support that is not means-tested, and is not affected by earnings from part time work or the applicant’s eligibility for the maintenance grant. Visit www.welfare.ie for further information.
Under this programme postgraduate students are eligible to apply for financial support that enables them to spend periods of three to twelve months studying or working in any of the 27 EU member states, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey. Students with disabilities are eligible for additional assistance and special provision is made for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Higher Education Authority distributes EU funding for the Erasmus programme to Ireland’s higher education institutions. Contact the International Office of your institution for further information.
Graduate Skills Conversion Programme
Students of many information technology-related postgraduate courses are entitled to subsidised fees, thanks to this government programme that is seeking to address the shortfall of ICT skills in the Irish economy. Over 150 part- and full time courses, ranging from Environmental Engineering to Microelectronics, were available at a subsidised fee of €2,000 in 2009/2010. To find the latest list of courses that are eligible for funding under this scheme please visit the Funding section of www.hea.ie.
Irish Government Exchange Scholarships
The Irish Government has an agreement with a number of foreign countries, where it sponsors a scholarship for an international student studying here in exchange for financial support for an Irish student researching or studying at postgraduate level in the international student’s country. Countries involved in this initiative include EU members, Australia, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Malaysia, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA. Visit www.education.ie for more information on this scheme.
Student Assistance Fund
Every publicly funded higher education provider in Ireland receives Student Assistance funding from the state. Students pursuing a full time course of at least one-year’s duration can apply to the college for monetary assistance if they are experiencing temporary or ongoing financial difficulties. An application can only be made once you have registered for your course.