Student Assistance Funds nationally have been given a financial boost following the allocation of a further €350,000 for students that are undergoing financial strain.

The funding, which was from the Higher Education Authority, has been termed vital to aiding students in financial distress and help keep Students’ Unions nationwide “committed” to the student body in their respective institutions.

UCDSU has welcomed the additional top up of €350,000 to the national Student Assistance Fund, saying that these much needed funds will ensure that at least €30,000 additional assistance will be going to UCD students in need.

Speaking to the University Observer, UCDSU President, Mícheál Gallagher said, “This additional funding will be allocated to students in need this semester. The Students’ Union remain committed to protecting vulnerable students and we will be holding a fundraiser campaign this semester to help raise additional money for student hardship fund.”

The negotiation for this initial supplementary top-up of €350,000 for such student hardship funds nationally could potentially rise to €1 million. The funding is being secured from the accrued interest within the HEA budget.

Speaking about the securement of this additional financial support, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) President Joe O’Connor said, “This is a positive development which will hopefully go some way towards protecting those students who are in greatest need.

“We are confident that IOT’s will make as much funding as possible available to the Student Assistance Fund, and our member Students’ Unions across the country will be working internally to bring this about.

“We appreciate the support of the Department and the HEA in making this possible, however we must now work towards ensuring students are no longer left in dire straits trying to survive in college, and being forced to rely on this Fund.”

The Student Assistance Fund is the principle source of financial support for students in third-level education at universities and institutes of technologies who are in need of aid.

Applications to the Student Assistance Fund in UCD can be directed towards Francis Rooney (