Frequently Asked Questions
Find your question
Where does this funding come from?
New Avenues to Teaching is funded by the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH) (Strand 1) which is a competitive funding scheme established by the Department of Education and Skills to support implementation of the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015–2019. Managed by the HEA on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills, this three-year funding initiative (2017–2020) aims to improve Equity of Access to students who have been traditionally under-represented in teaching.
Who may apply for a NAT bursary?
There are a number of bursaries available for students who meet all three of the following conditions:
1. They must be experiencing financial hardship
2. They must have been offered/ hold a place on one of the following programmes at UCC:
- The Professional Master of Education
- The joint UCC/CIT PME Art and Design, entering from non-UCC undergraduate degrees.
- BEd Sports Studies and Physical Education.
- BSc (Science Education).
3. Be a member of one of the following groups:
- Students with a disability
- Students from the Irish Traveller community
- Students from ethnic minorities
- Students from target socioeconomic groups
- Mature students (undergraduate only).
- Students who are lone/single parents
Each of these groups is elaborated on further in the questions below
What documentary evidence do I need to provide to support my application?
This depends on the category you are applying under and whether you are of independent means or not. Please refer to the Supporting Documentation Guide for information on what documents to submit.
I am a student from one of the groups supported by NAT. Am I entitled to apply for a bursary?
If you are a student from one of the groups supported by NAT who is experiencing financial hardship, then you are entitled to apply for a bursary. Only candidates that meet both the financial need criteria and the underrepresented groups criteria will be considered.
How is an ethnic minority determined for NAT?
An Ethnic Minority as determined by the Higher Education Authority for the purpose of this fund is:
- a national of a Member State, a state which is a contracting state to the EEA agreement or the Swiss Confederation,
- or person whose current immigration status or leave to remain under the Department of Justice and Equality, is one of the following:
- Refugee (including programme refugees);
- Subsidiary Protection;
- Permission to remain as the family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen under the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 and EU Directive 2004/38/EC (EU Treaty Rights provisions);
- Permission to remain because of marriage/civil partnership with an Irish national or as dependent child of such person;
- Humanitarian leave to remain granted before the Immigration Act 1999 came into effect; Permission to remain following a decision not to deport under Sections 3 of the Immigration Act 1999; or
- Permission to remain as a dependent child of a person who has acquired Irish Citizenship by naturalisation, residing in the State.
Only documentation from official state departments i.e. Department of Justice and Equality will be accepted to prove the applicants right to remain.
Which socioeconomic groups are currently underrepresented in higher education?
The non manual worker group and the semi skilled/unskilled manual worker group are currently underrepresented in higher education. For examples of occupations associated with each of these groups please see pg. 147-150 of the following document: This is IrelandHighlights from Census 2011, Part 2
I am 23 years of age or over. Am I entitled to apply for a bursary as a Mature Student?
The Higher Education Authority defines a “mature student” as one who is 23 years of age or older on 1 January in the year of application for entry to a level 6-8 higher education programme. Since the PME is a level 9 programme, applicants for this bursary are not considered under this category. Mature students registered on the BSc Sci Education and BEd Sports Studies and Physical Education may apply.
Will I be successful in my application for funding?
Due to an expected high demand for limited funding, applications will be prioritised according to those most in need. Applicants meeting more than one target group will be prioritised. It is unlikely that all requests for funding will be met. To be deemed eligible to apply, application forms must be completed in full and accompanied by all relevant supporting documentation.
Will I receive funding for the duration of the programme?
Fee contributions will be awarded for the full programme, dependent upon the student passing each year of their initial teacher education programme. However, the student is responsible for letting the NAT Project officer know of any change in their financial situation. Placement bursaries will be made on an annual basis and will need to be applied for each year. Allocation of a placement bursary in year 1 does not guarantee a placement bursary in subsequent years.
Where can I obtain a Form P21?
From the Revenue Commissioners Office.
Where can I obtain a Notice of Assessment/Self-Assessment Letters?
From the Revenue Commissioners Office.
Where can I obtain Social Welfare Documentation?
From the Department of Social Protection.
I am in receipt of a SUSI/Local Authority Higher Education Grant. Can I apply for a bursary?
Yes. If you are a student in receipt of a SUSI/Local Authority Education Grant who is experiencing financial hardship, then you are entitled to apply for a bursary. You must let SUSI know if you are awarded the NAT PATH1 scholarship/bursary.
I am receiving assistance/support from the Disability Support Service (UCC). Can I apply for a bursary?
Yes. But you must provide details of the amount of financial assistance, if any, from the Disability Support Service (UCC) on the NAT Application Form, along with details of income from all other sources.
What do I need to include in my Personal Statement (Section F of the NAT application form)?
- How the bursary will support you on your teacher education programme
- How you meet the criteria for inclusion (target groups listed in Q. 2 above) in the NAT scheme
- In completing your personal statement please try to make clear what makes you the most deserving applicant.