We hope that the Financial Guide to College will be an important and useful tool for any Traveller thinking of going on to further education, for any Traveller parent trying to navigate the system with their child and ultimately for anyone at all that wants to know what’s available to support them at third level.

It is a universal guide for individuals, parents, schools, guidance counsellors that brings together all of the information needed in one easy to understand package.

There is a Mistaken Belief that Travellers are not interested in Education

Part of the negative stereotyping of Travellers is the belief Travellers are not interested in education. This is not true and according to the All-Ireland Traveller Health Study 2010 the majority of Traveller parents value education and see it as being important for their children’s future. This is also reflected in the number of Travellers who return to education as adults.

66% of Traveller adults have participated in at least one training scheme, with 2.4 the average number of training schemes attended.

With only 1% of Travellers attending third level, though this figure is rising, it is important to encourage more Travellers to attend third level but also support their access and retention in third level and this guide aims to support that.

 Fiona Coyne, CEO, Citizens Information Board said:

“This guide is another great example of how National Traveller MABS wants to break down barriers, particularly financial barriers, for Travellers accessing further education. This will lead to greater employment opportunities, earning potential and more choices in life.” She added: “In CIB’s policy submission to the Department of Further and Higher Education, last year, on the SUSI grant scheme we noted that the economic consequences of Covid 19 had led to difficulties particularly for disadvantaged students including Travellers. We recommended that the maintenance grant levels be increased to cover accommodation costs and cost of living increases. We were delighted to see that many of our recommendations on the SUSI grant scheme were taken on board.”

Commenting on the guide, Nancy Power, Coordinator of National Traveller MABS said:

“The guide will benefit members of the Traveller Community in accessing higher education but it also can be used generically as it will benefit people from disadvantaged backgrounds in knowing that all the information about funding and bursaries are available in one guide. I hope that it will help to increase access for Travellers in entering higher level.”

Published: 30 May 2022