CARLOW College has been “unfairly excluded” from a national scheme to provide laptops to students.
Sinn Féin TD for Carlow-Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion made the comment as she called on the minister for further education to review the allocation of funding for the recently announced third-level laptop scheme.
The scheme saw neighbouring IT Carlow receive a grant of €520,000 and a Department of Education spokesperson said the fund only applied to institutes and colleges which qualify for the student assistance fund scheme.
Deputy Funchion said: “Students at Carlow College are being unfairly excluded from this scheme simply because their college is not in receipt of the student assistance fund. I have been inundated with emails from students, many of whom are on very low incomes and in receipt of SUSI to enable their studies, furious that they are unable to even apply for the scheme as students of Carlow College.”
Deputy Funchion had written to the minister calling for urgent action and for him to immediately reverse this decision and allow students at Carlow College access to this scheme.
“I hope that this welcome scheme is made available to all students in any third-level institution in the state. The quality of education delivered by Carlow College is first rate. They run a programme of excellent courses and degrees specialising in arts, social sciences and the humanities and, like all third-level institutions, are moving towards an online platform. In this new normal for third-level study, it is really important that all students are provided with the same access and opportunities,” concluded deputy Function.