The Government is working on a plan to ensure that student scholarship money will be used to help disabled students who cannot afford the cost of attending university.
It is understood that the Government is consulting with key stakeholders and is committed to making the scheme a reality as soon as possible.
The Government has earmarked €1.5bn for the scheme, which would help disabled young people to attend university without having to pay fees.
The scheme would be administered by a central agency to ensure student financial assistance was available to those who are at the lowest income level.
It would be available to students from families earning less than €30,000 per year.
The proposal is part of the Government’s package to address the growing cost of tertiary education.
The student loans are to be made available to all eligible students regardless of their level of financial need.
The cost of tuition and fees for students attending university would be covered by the Government.
The plan is aimed at improving the quality of education for young people in the country and increasing the number of students enrolled in university.
Mr Kenny said: “I’m delighted to announce that we are moving ahead with the implementation of this innovative and ambitious scheme.
This is a key part of a much bigger initiative to bring Ireland’s tertiary students out of poverty, and is designed to ensure every student has access to a good education at a fair price.”
I’m very proud to be announcing today that this scheme will be fully implemented by the end of next year, with the first students eligible to benefit from the scheme in the autumn of 2019.
“The plan will help students to pay for their fees and also ensure the financial assistance to the disadvantaged young people is available to them.
Students are also expected to receive support from the Government, with their school budgets fully utilised.
The first of those eligible to receive aid will be students in their second year of study.”
This is an important step to ensure a strong and sustainable future for Ireland’s young people, who are the backbone of the future of our economy,” Mr Kenny said.
The announcement comes just weeks after the Government announced the creation of the National Student Loan Scheme, which will cover tuition fees for the first four years of university, as well as loans for students who are not able to afford to pay.
The Scheme is expected to help students with the costs of attending school, and will cover the cost for students to attend, while also helping those students to get an education.