“As students return to college campuses for the first time in 18 months it will be an exciting and of course potentially nervous time for them," commented Deputy Jennifer Murnane O'Connor, Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow.
The €1,786,850 for IT Carlow is part of funding for capital works and equipment in the higher education sector for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Previous allocations under the Devolved Capital Grant have had a significant positive impact on campus development, facilitating initiatives such as upgrading of laboratories, replacement of obsolete ICT equipment, installation of energy efficient lighting, and repurposing of existing spaces in line with the needs of students and staff.
The Carlow TD added: “It will help the institute carry out any minor works and upgrades in equipment that are required for the upcoming academic year.
“Also, an initiative launched last year to alleviate the problem of digital inequity will continue this year and will see the procurement of laptops to lend to students who do not have the resources to acquire a device themselves. Higher education institutions will be able to use the devolved capital grant to procure additional laptops where they are required.”
As was the case last year, laptops procured to support disadvantaged students will be distributed through targeted lending schemes run by the higher education institutions. This will be overseen by Access Offices in the individual institutions. Any students who consider they might be eligible to receive a device should contact their Access Office for application details.
The scheme will be primarily aimed at first year students but it is open to anyone to seek support. Last year, over 8,000 laptops were distributed to higher education students.
“This funding of €1,786,850 for IT Carlow will help support important capital priorities for the local institute and the safe and very welcome return of students to campus-based learning there."
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