Free laptops for students from Government

21 August 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Third level students in Cork will benefit from a new fund to help them access laptops and other devices, Colm Burke TD has said.

Colm Burke is a Cork North Central TD

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has confirmed the funding for Cork students as part of a new fund for student devices worth €15 million. The fund is part of a larger €168 million package to help further and higher education sectors deal with the impacts of Covid-19.

Speaking today, Deputy Colm Burke said: “Covid-19 has disrupted many aspects of our lives. For students in third level, it has resulted in a changed college experience.

“This new academic year will see students attending courses online and they will need access to devices to cope with this challenge. This investment will allow us to help 16,700 students access laptops and will ensure they can keep up to date with their studies.

“It will also go some way to bridging the digital divide, support students and ensure equality of access to education.”

The €168 million funding package includes an additional €10 million for access supports which complements the IT support package. Students in higher education institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support via their local access office.

The devices will be distributed through targeted lending schemes run by the institutions and will be overseen by Student Access Offices.

Minister Harris added: “The focus will be on ensuring disadvantaged students have access to the devices.

“But we must also recognise many students and their families have fallen on hard times as a result of Covid. We must ensure they don’t fall behind in their studies and ensure they can access this support fund also.

“We still have significant work to do to address the digital divide in Ireland but this will go some of the way to doing that.”

The grant funding for the devices will be provided to Higher Education Institutions through the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and to Education and Training Boards through SOLAS.  The bulk order of laptops was organised by HEAnet, which provides internet connectivity and ICT services to education bodies throughout Ireland.



 Allocations to higher and further education providers


DCU €641,843
NUI Galway €682,999
TCD €466,224
TU Dublin €1,290,463
UCC €590,432
UCD €777,017
UL €563,413
MU €577,223
MIC €219,065
NCAD € 41,603
RCSI € 64,498
St Angela’s College € 71,748
Athlone IT €272,480
CIT €515,866
IADT €101,760
Dundalk IT €257,965
GMIT €357,694
IT Carlow €529,694
IT Sligo €263,885
IT Tralee €151,199
Letterkenny IT €373,339
Limerick IT €384,980
Waterford IT €522,544
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth €  13,751
Marino €  45,373
NCI €222,942
Cavan and Monaghan ETB €211,000
City of Dublin ETB €887,000
Cork ETB €469,500
Donegal ETB €184,500
Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB €489,000
Galway and Roscommon ETB €326,000
Kerry ETB €176,500
Kildare and Wicklow ETB €240,500
Kilkenny and Carlow ETB €171,500
Laois and Offaly ETB €145,000
Limerick Clare ETB €385,000
Longford and Westmeath ETB €145,500
Louth and Meath ETB €313,500
Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB €263,000
SOLAS Funded Groups €35,500
Tipperary ETB €191,000
VSCCS €58,000
Waterford and Wexford ETB €308,000
TOTAL €15m

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