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The Education (Student Support) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004

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Regulation 18

SCHEDULE 1

PART VIIIassistance for part-time courses

Eligible part-time students

28.(1) Subject to and in accordance with this Part a person shall be eligible for assistance under regulation 30 or 31 in connection with his undertaking a designated part-time course if he is an eligible part-time student in accordance with the following paragraphs.

(2) Subject to and in accordance with the following paragraphs, an eligible part-time student shall be a person mentioned in Schedule 1, provided that a person shall not be eligible for assistance under regulation 30(1)(b) or regulation 31 if he is a person mentioned in paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 and not in any other paragraph of that Schedule.

(3) Subject to and in accordance with the following paragraphs, an eligible part-time student shall be eligible for assistance if, in respect of the second and any subsequent year of his part-time course, he is resident in Northern Ireland on the first day of the academic year.

(4) An eligible part-time student shall not be eligible for assistance under regulation 30 if –

(a)he holds a first degree from an educational institution in the United Kingdom or a comparable qualification from an educational institution outside the United Kingdom; or

(b)there have been paid to him 8 loans in connection with his undertaking one or more designated part-time courses.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4)(a), a degree shall not be treated as a first degree where –

(a)it is a degree (other than an honours degree) that has been awarded to an eligible part-time student who has completed the required modules, examinations or other forms of assessment for his first degree course;

(b)the course was undertaken at an educational institution in the United Kingdom; and

(c)the eligible part-time student is registered to continue the course at the same educational institution after the award of his degree so as to obtain an honours degree on completion of the required modules, examinations or other form of assessment.

(6) A person shall not be eligible under this regulation if –

(a)there has been made to him or paid to him in relation to his undertaking the part-time course –

(i)a bursary or award of similar description under Article 44 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 or section 63 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 whether or not the amount of such bursary or award is calculated by reference to his income;

(ii)any allowance under the Nursery and Midwifery Student Allowances (Scotland) Regulations 1992; or

(iii)any allowance under sections 73(f) and 74(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 where that part-time course leads to a qualification in a healthcare profession, other than as a medical doctor or dentist, whether or not the amount of such allowance is calculated by reference to his income;

(b)he is in breach of any obligation to repay any loan;

(c)he has not ratified any agreement for a loan made with him when he was under the age of 18;

(d)he has, in the opinion of the Department, shown himself by his conduct to be unfitted to receive assistance; or

(e)subject to paragraph (7), he is a prisoner serving a custodial sentence.

(7) Paragraph (6)(e) shall not apply in respect of an academic year during which the student enters prison to serve a custodial sentence or is released from prison having served such a sentence.

(8) For the purposes of paragraph (6)(b) and (c), “loan” means a loan made under the Education (Student Loans) (Northern Ireland) Order 1990, the Education (Student Support) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 and regulations made thereunder, the Education (Student Loans) Act 1990, the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and regulations made thereunder, or the Teaching and Higher Education Act and regulations made thereunder.

(9) Paragraph (6)(c) shall only apply, in a case where the agreement for a loan is subject to the law of Scotland, if it was made –

(a)before 25th September 1991, and

(b)with the concurrence of the borrower’s curator, or at a time when he had no curator.

(10) A person shall not be eligible for assistance for more than one designated part-time course at any one time.

(11) An eligible part-time student shall be eligible for assistance only in respect of –

(a)an academic year during which his course becomes a designated part-time course, or during which he or his spouse or parent is recognised as a refugee or is granted leave to enter or remain as mentioned in paragraph 3 of Schedule 1; and

(b)any academic year subsequent to an academic year within paragraph (a).

(12) Where a person who meets the requirements of this regulation is notified of that fact by the Department under regulation 32(5), he shall thereafter be an eligible part-time student for the purposes of these Regulations.

Designated part-time courses

29.(1) Subject to paragraph (3), a part-time course shall be designated for the purposes of Article 3 of the Order and regulation 28 if –

(a)it is mentioned in Schedule 2, otherwise than in paragraph 4 of that Schedule;

(b)it exceeds one academic year’s duration and does not exceed twice the period normally required to complete a full-time course leading to the same qualification;

(c)it is wholly provided by an institution or institutions in the United Kingdom or by a relevant institution or institutions of higher education in the Republic of Ireland which (in either case) are maintained or assisted by recurrent grants out of public funds or provided by such institution or institutions in conjunction with an institution or institutions outside the United Kingdom; and

(d)it is not designated by or under regulation 5.

(2) Paragraphs (5) and (6) of regulation 5 shall apply for the purposes of paragraph (1) as they apply for the purposes of paragraph (1) of that regulation.

(3) For the purposes of Article 3(1) of the Order and regulation 28(1) the Department may designate part-time courses of higher education, which are not designated by paragraph (1).

Assistance for part-time courses

30.(1) For the purposes of this regulation, assistance shall mean –

(a)a grant in respect of fees not exceeding the lesser of the following amounts –

(i)“the fee grant”, being one half of the amount referred to in paragraph (1) (a) of regulation 11, and

(ii)“the actual fees”, being the amount of fees charged in respect of the designated course; and

(b)a grant not exceeding £250 for books, travel and other expenditure in connection with the designated course.

(2) An eligible part-time student shall be eligible for assistance in respect of an academic year in accordance with this regulation as follows –

(a)an eligible part-time student shall receive the maximum amount of assistance available under this regulation if at the date of his application for assistance, he or his spouse is entitled –

(i)under Part VII of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act (Northern Ireland) 1992(1) to income support or housing benefit; or

(ii)under Part 1 of the Jobseekers Northern Ireland (Order) 1995(2) to income-based jobseekers allowance or under arrangements made under section 1 of the Employment and Training Act (Northern Ireland) 1950(3) to new deal allowance;

(b)subject to sub-paragraph (a), an eligible part-time student shall be assessed for assistance under paragraph (6).

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), for the purposes of paragraph (5), an eligible part-time student’s financial resources for a financial year means the aggregate of his income for that year together with the aggregate of the income for that year of any person who at the date of his application for assistance is his spouse.

(4) Where the Department is satisfied that an eligible part-time student’s financial resources for a financial year are greater than his financial resources for the current financial year and that the difference between the two amounts is £1,000 or more, it may assess that student’s financial resources under this regulation by reference to those resources in the current financial year.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (6), an eligible part-time student’s relevant income shall be calculated by disregarding from his financial resources –

(a)£2,000 in respect of his spouse;

(b)£2,000 in respect of the only or eldest child who is dependent on him or on his spouse; and

(c)£1,000 in respect of each other such child.

(6) Subject to paragraphs (7) and (8), an eligible part-time student shall receive assistance as follows –

(a)in any case where the relevant income is less than £14,600, the maximum amount of the assistance available under paragraph (1);

(b)in any case where the relevant income is £14,600, the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(b) together with £50 less than the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(a); and

(c)in any case where the relevant income exceeds £14,600, the assistance available under paragraph (1) shall be reduced by £50 and also by £1 for every complete £9·50 by which the relevant income exceeds £14,600.

(7) Where an eligible part-time student is eligible to receive assistance under paragraph (6)(c) –

(a)if the full amount of any assistance for which he would otherwise be eligible is calculated to be less than £50, he shall receive no assistance; and

(b)any deduction from the maximum amount of the assistance available shall apply firstly to the assistance provided under paragraph (1)(a) and when no assistance is provided under that paragraph to paragraph (1)(b).

(8) (a) In this paragraph, where the fee grant is greater than the actual fees, the difference shall be referred to as “the difference”.

(b)Subject to sub-paragraph (c), any deduction under paragraph 6(b) or (c) from the maximum amount of the assistance provided under paragraph (1)(a) shall itself be reduced by the difference.

(c)Where the resulting amount of the deduction would be negative under sub-paragraph (b) the student shall receive the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(a).

(9) In any academic year, an eligible part-time student shall not receive under this regulation assistance in excess of the maximum amount available to him under paragraph (1) in relation to a single designated part-time course, and where under regulation 33 a student receives assistance in relation to more than one such course, he shall not receive more than he would have received in relation to the course in respect of which he would have been eligible for the greatest amount of assistance.

(10) For the purposes of this regulation –

(a)“child” in relation to an eligible part-time student includes a step-child and any child for whom the student has parental responsibility and, in the case of an eligible part-time student aged 25 or over on the first day of the academic year in respect of which his eligibility for assistance is being assessed, any child of his partner;

(b)“current financial year” means the financial year which includes the first day of the academic year in respect of which a person’s eligibility for assistance is being assessed;

(c)“dependent” means wholly or mainly financially dependent;

(d)“financial year” means the period of twelve months for which the income of the eligible part-time student is computed for the purposes of the income tax legislation which applies to it;

(e)“income” means gross income from all sources excluding any tax credits awarded pursuant to any claims made under section 3 of the Tax Credits Act 2002;

(f)“partner” means a woman ordinarily living with a male part-time student as his wife or a man ordinarily living with a female part-time student as her husband;

(g)“spouse” includes –

(i)the wife of a male eligible part-time student and the husband of a female eligible part-time student; and

(ii)in the case of an eligible part-time student aged 25 or over on the first day of the academic year in respect of which his eligibility for assistance is being assessed, a partner,

but it does not include a spouse of an eligible part-time student where they have ceased ordinarily to live together, whether or not an order for their separation has been made by any court, or where the spouse is ordinarily living outside the United Kingdom and is not maintained by him.

Grants for disabled part-time students' living costs

31.(1) Regulation 14 shall apply in relation to an eligible part-time student in respect of his undertaking a designated part-time course as it applies in relation to an eligible student in respect of his undertaking a designated course with the substitution –

(a)for the amount specified in regulation 14(2)(a) of £8,670;

(b)for the amount specified in regulation 14(2)(d) of £1,140.

Applications for assistance

32.(1) A person shall apply for assistance in respect of an academic year of a part-time course by completing and submitting to the Department an application in such form and accompanied by such documentation as it may require, and regulation 6 shall not apply to him in connection with his undertaking that course.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), the application must reach the Department not later than six months after the first day of the academic year of the course in relation to which it is submitted, but where –

(a)the course becomes a designated part-time course after the first day of that academic year, the application must reach the Department not later than six months after the date on which the course was designated;

(b)the student, or his spouse or parent, is recognised as a refugee or has been granted leave to enter or remain as mentioned in paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 after the first day of that academic year, the application must reach the Department not later than six months after the date of recognition or the date the leave was granted retrospectively; or

(c)the Department considers that having regard to the circumstances of the particular case the time limit should be relaxed, the application must reach the Department not later than such date as it specifies.

(3) Where an eligible part-time student is applying for assistance under regulation 31 the application form must reach the Department as soon as it is reasonably practical.

(4) An applicant shall demonstrate his eligibility for assistance by providing such evidence as the Department may require, and the Department may take such steps and make such inquiries as it considers necessary to determine whether the applicant is eligible for assistance.

(5) If the Department considers that the applicant is eligible for the assistance for which he has applied under this Part, it shall –

(a)where the application is the first to be made in connection with the applicant’s undertaking the part-time course, notify him of the fact that the applicant is an eligible part-time student and is eligible for the assistance for which he has applied; and

(b)in respect of any subsequent application, notify him that he is eligible for the assistance for which he has applied.

Transfer of eligibility

33.(1) An eligible part-time student may request the Department to transfer his eligibility in any case where –

(a)the student starts to undertake another part-time course at the institution;

(b)the student starts to undertake a part-time course at another institution; or

(c)after commencing a part-time course for a first degree (other than an honours degree) the student is before the completion of that course admitted to a part-time course for an honours degree in the same subject or subjects at the institution.

(2) The Department, on being satisfied of the matters referred to in paragraph (1) and that the second course is a designated part-time course, shall transfer the eligible part-time student’s eligibility, and thereafter the student shall (subject to regulation 30(9)) be an eligible part-time student in connection with his undertaking the second course, whether or not he may have been so eligible if he had applied under regulation 32.

(3) An eligible part-time student’s eligibility as such may not be transferred after it has expired or been terminated under regulation 35.

Conversion of eligibility

34.(1) An eligible student under Part II may request the Department to convert his eligibility to that of an eligible part-time student in any case where –

(a)the eligible student ceases to attend his course and starts to undertake a designated part-time course at the institution; or

(b)the eligible student ceases to attend his course and starts to undertake a designated part-time course at another institution.

(2) On being satisfied of the matters referred to in paragraph (1), the Department shall convert the eligible student’s eligibility, and thereafter the student shall for all purposes cease to be an eligible student and shall (subject to regulation 30(9)) be an eligible part-time student in connection with his undertaking the second course, whether or not he may have been so eligible if he had applied under regulation 32.

(3) An eligible student’s eligibility as such may not be converted after it has expired or been terminated under regulation 8.

(4) Where under this regulation an eligible student under Part II becomes an eligible part-time student in the course of an academic year –

(a)where the Department has determined to pay an amount of grant to the student under regulation 14 in periodic instalments, no payment in respect of that amount of grant shall be made in respect of any instalment period beginning after the date on which the student became an eligible part-time student;

(b)the maximum amount of grant to which the student would, apart from this regulation, be entitled pursuant to regulation 31 in connection with his undertaking a designated part-time course in respect of that academic year shall be reduced by one third, where the student became an eligible part-time student during the second quarter of the academic year, and by two thirds where he became such a student in a later quarter of that year;

(c)where an amount of grant for any purpose has been paid to the student under regulation 14 in a single instalment, the maximum amount of grant payable to him pursuant to regulation 31 for that purpose shall be reduced (or where sub-paragraph (b) applies further reduced) by the amount of grant paid to him for that purpose pursuant to regulation 14, and where the resulting amount is nil or a negative amount that amount shall be nil; and

(d)where immediately before he became an eligible part-time student he was eligible to apply, but had not applied, for a loan for living costs in respect of that year under regulation 21, or had not applied for the maximum amount or increased maximum for which he was entitled under regulation 21, he may apply for such a loan or such additional amount of loan in accordance with regulation 21 as if he had continued to be an eligible student under Part II; and in the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (5) the maximum or increased maximum amount of such loan for the academic year shall be reduced in accordance with that paragraph.

(5) Where the application under paragraph (1) is made during the first quarter of the academic year in respect of which the loan is payable the maximum amount or increased maximum amount of loan (as the case may be) shall be reduced by two thirds, and where the application is made during the second quarter of that year that amount shall be reduced by one third.

(6) An eligible part-time student may request the Department to convert his eligibility to that of an eligible student under Part II in any case where –

(a)the eligible part-time student ceases to undertake his course and starts to attend a course designated by or under regulation 5 at the institution; or

(b)the eligible part-time student ceases to undertake his course and starts to attend a course designated by or under regulation 5 at another institution.

(7) The Department, on being satisfied of the matters referred to in paragraph (6), shall convert the eligible part-time student’s eligibility, and thereafter the student shall for all purposes cease to be an eligible part-time student and shall be an eligible student in connection with his attendance at the second course, whether or not he may have been so eligible if he had applied under regulation 6.

(8) An eligible part-time student’s eligibility as such may not be converted after it has expired or been terminated under regulation 35.

(9) Where under this regulation an eligible part-time student becomes an eligible student under Part II in the course of an academic year –

(a)where the Department has determined to pay an amount of grant to the student pursuant to regulation 31 in periodic instalments no payment in respect of that amount of grant shall be made in respect of any instalment period beginning after the date on which the student became an eligible student;

(b)any assistance to which the student is entitled under this Part in respect of that year shall be ignored in determining the amount of assistance to which he may be entitled in respect of that year under Parts III to V;

(c)the maximum amount of any assistance under Part IV or V to which the student would, apart from this regulation, be entitled in connection with his attendance at a designated course in respect of that academic year shall be reduced by one third, where the student became an eligible student during the second quarter of that academic year, and by two thirds where he became such a student in a later quarter of that year; and

(d)where an amount of grant for any purpose has been paid to the student pursuant to regulation 31 in a single instalment, the maximum amount of grant payable to him under regulation 14 for that purpose shall be reduced (or where sub-paragraph (c) applies further reduced) by the amount of grant paid to him for that purpose pursuant to regulation 31 and where the resulting amount is nil or a negative amount that amount shall be nil.

Termination of eligibility

35.(1) Subject to the following paragraphs an eligible part-time student shall cease to be eligible for assistance at the end of the academic year in which he completes his course.

(2) Where an eligible part-time student has withdrawn from a course in circumstances where the Department has not transferred or converted or will not transfer or convert his eligibility under regulation 33 or 34, or has ceased to undertake or been expelled from his course, the Department shall determine that he is no longer eligible to receive assistance under this Part and on such determination he shall cease to be an eligible part-time student.

(3) Where an eligible part-time student has shown himself by his conduct to be unfitted to receive assistance under this Part the Department may determine that he is no longer eligible to receive such assistance and on such determination he shall cease to be an eligible part-time student.

Payment of assistance to eligible part-time students

36.(1) The Department shall pay grant pursuant to regulation 31 and in relation to paragraph (1)(b) of regulation 30 in such instalments (if any) and at such times as it considers appropriate.

(2) 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 part-time 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.

Payment of grant for fees

37.(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Department shall pay any grant under regulation 30(1)(a) to the appropriate academic authority when a valid request for payment has been received.

(2) The Department may make payments under paragraph (1) at such times and in such instalments as it sees fit.

(3) The Department may make provisional payments under paragraph (1) in such cases as it deems appropriate.

Overpayments

38.(1) Any overpayment of a grant under this Part in respect of any academic year may be recovered if in the opinion of the Department –

(a)the overpayment is a result of a failure of the student to provide promptly information which might affect his eligibility for a grant under this Part; or

(b)any information which he has provided is inaccurate in a material particular.

(2) In a case following within paragraph (1), the student shall, if so required by the Department, repay any amount paid to him which for whatever reason exceeds the amount of grant to which he is entitled under the relevant regulation.

(3) In a case falling within paragraph (1), any overpayment of grant paid pursuant to regulation 30 in respect of an academic year may be recovered in such one or more of the following ways as the Department considers appropriate in all the circumstances –

(a)by subtracting the overpayment from the amount of grant paid under this Part for which the student is eligible in respect of any other academic year;

(b)by taking such other action for the recovery of a payment made without statutory authority as is available to it.

(4) In a case falling within paragraph (1), any overpayment of grant paid pursuant to regulation 31 in respect of an academic year may be recovered in such one or more of the following ways, as the Department considers appropriate in all the circumstances:

(a)by subtracting the overpayment from the grant for which the student is eligible pursuant to regulation 31 in respect of any other academic year;

(b)by subtracting the overpayment from any other grant for which the student is eligible either in respect of the academic year in question or any other academic year;

(c)where the student commences any course subsequent to the course in respect of which the overpayment was made by subtracting the overpayment from any payment of grant for living costs for which he is eligible in respect of any academic year in connection with that subsequent course; or

(d)by taking such other action for the recovery of a payment made without statutory authority as is available to the Department.

(2)

S.I. 1995/2205 (N.I. 15) Schedules 2 and 3; see also Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/3147 (N.I. 11), Schedule 8 Part IV

(3)

1950 c. 29 (N.I.) Section 1(1) was substituted and sub-sections 1(A), 1(B) and (1C) inserted by Article 3 of the Employment and Training (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 (S.I. 1988/1087 (N.I. 10))

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