For the Government to reverse the decision taken in Budget 2011 and decrease the qualifying criteria for the non-adjacent rate of the grant from 45km to 24km.
The current qualifying distance of 45km intends to take into account a reasonable distance which students may commute on a daily basis. However this puts many students at an disadvantage – especially those from outside major urban areas for various reasons. Reasons include some rural public transport links are poor to the point that students miss early or late lectures
Example: Birr Co. Offaly, population 5,800 is 40km from its nearest third level institution, Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT). The earliest a student can arrive in AIT using public transport is 1.25pm.
The adjacent grant exists to provide maintenance for those who are capable of commuting and provides for students, the cost of travel may be comparable to a living cost in the college town, defeating the purpose of this rate.
Example: Killarney, Co.Kerry, population 14,219 is 36 km from its nearest third level institution, IT Tralee. The cost of using public transport to travel from Killarney to IT Tralee is €67.50 per week by bus or €69.99 per week by train. Student accommodation in Tralee is available from €60.00 per week (see IT Tralee Students’ Union Accommodation list 2016/17 -Kings Court Apartments), with private rented accommodation available from €55 per week according to Daft.ie in 2017.