©2018 by Padraig O'Sullivan.

Adjacent and non-adjacent rates must be calculated more fairly for SUSI 3rd level grants – O’Sullivan

November 13, 2018

Adjacent and non-adjacent rates must be calculated more fairly for SUSI 3rd level grants – O’Sullivan

- Safest and shortest route should be used -

 

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Cork East, Cllr. Padraig O’Sullivan has said that the way in which SUSI calculates distances when awarding adjacent and non-adjacent payments to 3rd level students must be amended to ensure that it is fair for all.

Cllr. O’Sullivan, who is a secondary school teacher, was commenting after the issue was raised with the Department of Education by way of parliamentary question by his party.

“At present, the guidelines state that ‘in determining the shortest most direct route, the relevant awarding authority shall establish; the method for measuring a route; and the factors to be taken into account in establishing and measuring a route.’

“This ignores the situation in many parts of the county where the shortest route is also the most difficult and potentially difficult to travel.

“There are many students in North and East Cork who are losing out on getting the non-adjacent payment due to how routes are being calculated.

“I firmly believe that the shortest possible route cannot be the sole determinant in deciding the best route for travelling.

“We must remember that the difference between an adjacent and non-adjacent grant can be up to €2000 per year. Students may lose out by simply being 1km closer to their college based on how the route is calculated.

“It seems to me that SUSI are using Google Maps to plot and calculate routes. To my mind, making better use of websites such as AA Route Planner would be fairer and better reflects the actual routes students are travelling.

“There will always be anomalies, and local factors will always need to be taken into account, but if a student is making use of a route, that’s the route SUSI should be using when calculating the distance and thereby the rate,” concluded O’Sullivan.

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