Chief Executive launches Financial Guide to College by National Traveller MABS
Fiona Coyne, Chief Executive, has launched National Traveller MABS’ Financial Guide to College. The guide provides information about the financial supports available for Travellers considering further education.
The guide is an important and useful tool for any Traveller parent trying to navigate the system with their child and, ultimately, for anyone that wants to know what supports are available to them at third level. It is a universal, easy to understand guide for individuals, parents, schools and guidance counsellors.
Part of the negative stereotyping of Travellers is the belief that Travellers are not interested in education. This is not true. 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. While only 1% of Travellers attend third level, it is important to encourage more Travellers to do so. It is also important to support their access and retention in third level and this guide aims to do that.
Fiona Coyne, Chief Executive, CIB 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 entering higher level.”
National Travellers MABS was established in 2005 and is a leading advocate for the financial inclusion of Travellers in Ireland. NT MABS help to reduce poverty, discrimination and the financial exclusion of Travellers in Ireland. They work with the Traveller community and other organisations to change policy and practice which impact Travellers, financially.
The guide is available online: https://www.ntmabs.org/publications/education/2022/national-traveller-mabs-financial-guide-to-college.pdf
National Traveller MABS is funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board.
Photographs from the event