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Education (Student Support) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002

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Payment of grants and loans for living costs

27.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs and regulation 18 (4), the Department shall pay grants for which a student is eligible under Part IV or loans for which a student has applied under Part V in such instalments (if any) and at such times as it considers appropriate; and in the exercise of its functions under this paragraph it may in particular make provisional payments pending the final calculation of the amount of grant or loan for which the student is eligible.

(2) Bursaries and grants for which a student is eligible under regulations 13 and 16 and loans for which a student has applied under Part V, other than a loan under regulation 23 shall be payable in respect of three quarters of the academic year, and shall not be payable in respect of the quarter during which in the opinion of the Department the longest of any vacations is taken.

(3) The Department shall pay support referred to in paragraph (2) in the following instalments:

(a)if the first instalment is paid during the first quarter of the academic year in respect of which the support is payable it shall be paid in three equal instalments during the quarters in respect of which it is payable;

(b)if the first instalment is paid during the second quarter of the academic year in respect of which support is payable it shall be paid in two instalments during the quarters in respect of which it is payable, the first amounting to two thirds of the amount to be paid, and the second one third of that amount; and

(c)if the first instalment is paid during the third quarter of the academic year in respect of which the support is payable it shall be paid in one instalment.

(4) Payments shall be made in such manner as the Department considers appropriate, and it may make it a condition of entitlement to payment that the eligible student shall provide it with particulars of a bank or building society account in the United Kingdom into which payments may be made by electronic transfer.

(5) Subject to regulation 7 no support referred to in paragraph (2) shall be payable in respect of a quarter beginning after an eligible student has withdrawn from, abandoned or been expelled from his course; and the amount of such support for the academic year shall be the aggregate of the support, if any, which is payable in respect of each quarter.

(6) No support referred to in paragraph (2) shall be payable in respect of a quarter during any part of which an eligible student is absent from his course, unless in the opinion of the Department it would be appropriate in all the circumstances to pay all or part of the support; and the amount of such support for the academic year shall be the aggregate of the support, if any, which is payable in respect of each quarter.

(7) In deciding whether it would be appropriate to pay all or part of the support under paragraph (6) the circumstances which the Department shall have regard to shall include the reasons for the student’s absence, the length of the absence, and the financial hardship which not paying all or part of the support would cause.

(8) An eligible student shall not be considered to be absent from his course if he is unable to attend due to illness and his absence has not exceeded 60 days.

(9) Where after the Department has made any payment of support referred to in paragraph (2), it makes a determination of the amount of grant for which the student is eligible in respect of an academic year under regulation 13 or 16 either for the first time or by way of revision of a provisional or other determination of that amount –

(a)if the determination increases the amount of grant for which the student is eligible it shall pay the additional amount in instalments in accordance with paragraph (3), paying the first instalment as soon as is reasonably practicable after the determination and any subsequent instalment with instalments already payable;

(b)if the determination decreases the amount of grant for which the student is eligible it shall subtract the amount of the decrease from any instalments of grant which remain to be paid under regulation 16, so that the instalments continue to bear the proportion to each other referred to in paragraph (3);

(c)if the amount of the decrease is greater than the amount of grant remaining to be paid that amount shall be reduced to nil, and the balance subtracted from any other grant for which the student is eligible in respect of the academic year; and

(d)any remaining overpayment shall be recovered in accordance with regulation 28.

(10) Where the Department has made any payment of support referred to in paragraph (2) and a student who is eligible for a loan under Part V, other than a loan under regulation 23 applies for such a loan or applies for an additional such loan in respect of an academic year, the Department shall pay the loan or the additional loan in instalments in accordance with paragraph (3), paying the first instalment as soon as is reasonably practicable after a satisfactory application has been received and any subsequent instalment with instalments already payable.

(11) Where the Department has paid an instalment of loan for which a student is eligible in respect of an academic year under Part V and it makes a determination that the amount of loan for which the student is eligible is less than the amount previously determined, either by way of revision of a provisional determination or otherwise, –

(a)it shall subtract such amount as is necessary to ensure that the student does not borrow an amount greater than the amount which he is eligible to borrow from any instalments of loan which remain to be paid, so that the instalments continue to bear the proportion to each other referred to in paragraph (3);

(b)if the amount to be subtracted is greater than the amount of loan remaining to be paid that amount shall be reduced to nil; and

(c)any remaining overpayment shall be recovered in accordance with regulation 28.

(12) Notwithstanding the above paragraphs, where –

(a)support referred to in paragraph (2) is payable in respect of a period of attendance at an overseas institution; and

(b)the Department considers that payment of the support in instalments in accordance with the above paragraphs may prejudice his admission to the overseas country or institution,

it may pay the support in such instalments, if any, as it considers appropriate.

(13) Notwithstanding the above paragraphs where the periods of attendance for a course are such that the payment of instalments during the quarters in respect of which the support is payable may cause the eligible student hardship the Department may pay the instalments at such other times as it considers appropriate.

(14) Notwithstanding the above paragraphs where by reason of the absence of the student –

(a)support referred to in paragraph (2) is reduced in accordance with paragraph (6); and

(b)the Department considers that the payment of such support in accordance with the above paragraphs would be inappropriate,

it may pay such support in such number of instalments and in instalments of such amounts as it considers appropriate.

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