Skip to content
News / January 21, 2014

Grants restored to dental students

by Guy Hiscott

Students on dental nursing and hygiene courses in two universities have had their grants restored from the Department of Education, following a suspension from the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

A letter sent to 39 students at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University of College Cork (UCC) stated that as the course ‘does not lead to a major award at level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), you are ineligible for a grant.’

The SUSI claimed that approved courses must be full-time and lead to a major award on the NFQ, stating that some level 7 diplomas were not considered major awards.

June Nunn, head of Trinity’s School of Dental Science, stated that SUSI did not inform the university of its decision to withdraw the grants until it was too late.

The Department of Education has now clarified that the courses are approved and payments will be restored to eligible students, and any arrears paid, as soon as possible.

Eighteen out of twenty-two students at TCD’s dental nursing second year course and first-year students on the same course were affected by the grant suspension, as well as those enrolled in Trinity’s dental hygiene diploma and students in the same courses in UCC.

The issue was raised on The Joe Finnegan Show on Northern Sound FM, where a student’s mother feared her daughter and some of her classmates would have to drop out and apply for social welfare.

Follow @IrishDentistry on Twitter for the latest Irish dental news and updates