07 September, 2018 - Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers to continue for coming year

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., together with the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., today (the 7th of September) announced their decision to continue the Pilot Student Support Scheme for those in the protection system for 2018/19.

The Scheme, which was introduced in 2015, provides supports in line with the current Student Grant Scheme to eligible school leavers who are in the protection system (other than those at the deportation order stage) and who are either:

  • Asylum applicants;
  • Subsidiary protection applicants; or
  • Leave to remain applicants.

 The 2018 scheme will open for applications today, the 7th of September 2018.

Applicants in the protection system who wish to be supported to pursue certain courses in further education or at undergraduate level in higher education will be required to meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the definition of a protection applicant or a person at leave to remain stage (other than those at the deportation order stage);
  • Obtained their Leaving Certificate;
  • Have been accepted on an approved Post Leaving Certificate course or an approved undergraduate course;
  • Have attended a minimum of five academic years in the Irish school system, as at 31 August 2018; and
  • Have been part of an application for protection or leave to remain for a combined period of 5 years as at 31 August 2018.

Further information on how to apply, including the application form, is available at Pilot Support Scheme

Minister Bruton said:

“I am pleased to be in a positon to announce the continuation of the scheme for another year. The scheme provides a valuable opportunity for eligible students to develop their skill sets and participate more fully in society.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said:

“I am delighted to announce the continuation of the pilot support scheme for another year. The application window is open from now until early November. I would urge all students who may be eligible for support, to submit their applications; so that supports can be put in place early in the academic year”

The decision to continue the scheme for a fourth year was taken following a review of the 2017 Pilot Support Scheme.

The closing date for 2018/19 applications is the 2nd of November 2018. 


The pilot support scheme for school leavers is targeted at students in or having come through the protection system. There are three categories of school leavers within this process. Two categories of students come under the protection process with a third category in the leave to remain process.  The three categories are as follows:

  • Asylum applicants (protection process) – a person who has made an application for refugee status but where a determination has not been made;
  • Subsidiary protection applicants (protection process) – a person who has made an application for subsidiary protection but where a determination has not been made;
  • Leave to remain applicants – a person who has completed the protection process (i.e. asylum and/or subsidiary protection) and whose eligibility for leave to remain has yet to be considered.  

The scheme will operate for the 2018/19 academic year. It will be reviewed in 2019.