White applauds Minister’s announcement of new scholarship scheme – the Walton Bursaries.

Alex White TD today applauded the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., who has announced the establishment of a new scholarship scheme for higher education. As part of Budget 2012, the Government committed to abolishing all existing scholarship schemes, and replacing these with a new set of bursaries, aimed solely at students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 Speaking after the Minister’s announcement at TUI Conference in Wexford last week, Deputy White said: “I am delighted with these new arrangements.”

 60 students from DEIS schools, and who hold medical cards, will receive a bursary of ?2,000 each this September. This number will rise over each of the next three years, with over 350 students a year benefiting by 2015. The awards will be awarded regionally on the basis of the leaving cert results achieved by students.

 The awards under the new scheme will be fixed at ?2,000 per student. The bursary will be an extra support and incentive to recognise high achievement for students who are from disadvantaged families and attending DEIS schools.

Those students to whom bursaries are awarded will also be entitled to apply for student grants towards the cost of maintenance and the student contribution or fees. 41% of all undergraduate students currently receive a student grant and have their fees or student contribution paid on their behalf.

 These bursaries will be augmented by a small number of bursaries focussed on students who undertake studies in the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) areas.

 “These scholarships will be named the Walton Bursaries after Ernest Walton - Ireland’s only Nobel laureate in science, and the man who, with John Cockcroft, became the first person to split the atom,” said Deputy White.

 “We hope that these bursaries will help ensure a new generation of Irish people strive to replicate his achievements.”