Trinity is to receive a €2.64m grant for capital works and investment.
Today, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Research,, Simon Harris has announced €38m in funding for third level institutions this academic year.
Supporting the return to campus, the funding is for “capital works and equipment” in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), as part of ongoing investment in higher education under Project Ireland 2040.
The funding is “flexible” as to institutions’ use, however key investment priorities identified include “minor works and equipment” to support a safe reopening, the provision of devices and laptops for disadvantaged students.
The money is also to facilitate health and safety works, technological, equipment and building upgrades, and upgrades related to energy efficiency and decarbonisation.
Funding will also go towards equipment and infrastructure needed to support the additional third-level places created this year to meet increased demand due to the pandemic.
In addition to the creation of 1,300 places on undergraduate courses in areas of identified skills, over 3,320 CAO places were created across a range of courses and disciplines.
The grants announced today will be provided through the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
€19.87m has been allocated to technological institutions, with Technological University of Dublin and Munster Technological University assigned €3.59m and 2.68m respectively.
€18.44m will be distributed to universities and other colleges, with the largest of the grants going to University College Dublin (€3.94m), University College Cork (€2.94m) and Trinity (€2.64m).
Commenting on the investment, Minister Harris said: “Today, students across the country will begin to return to colleges for the first time in 19 months.”
“It is an incredibly exciting but I am sure nervous time for many” he continued.
“I am very pleased to announce a significant devolved capital grant for the higher education sector to support a range of capital priorities.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on the issue of digital inequity,” Harris noted.
“In response to this, I announced funding last year for the procurement of laptops to lend to students who did not have the resources to acquire a device themselves.”
Harris said that he is “pleased that this initiative will continue into the coming academic year” and “higher education institutions will be able to use the devolved capital grant to procure additional laptops where they are required”.
Laptop lending schemes for disadvantaged students will be run by individual institutions, with their Access Officers overseeing applications. The scheme is particularly aimed at first years students, but is open to all.
Last year, over 8,000 laptops were provided to students in higher education.