€38 million for higher education capital works and equipment

7 September 2021 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, has today announced an additional €38 million for higher education institutions for the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

The devolved capital grant allocation will facilitate higher institutions to address a number of key capital investment priorities, including:

  • minor works and equipment needs to support safe campus reopening
  • procurement of additional ICT devices – including laptops – to support disadvantaged students who have difficulty in accessing a suitable device for their studies
  • investments in equipment and infrastructure that are required to support the creation of additional student places, given the exceptional circumstances facing the Leaving Cert class of 2021
  • general ICT and equipment-related upgrades
  • health and safety works, and other building upgrades
  • investments to support universal access
  • energy efficiency and decarbonisation-related upgrades
  • The funding forms part of ongoing investment in the higher education sector under Project Ireland 2040. Funding will be provided through the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

    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.

    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.