A new revival of the student grants scheme which will hit students from farming backgrounds looks set to be met with hostility from various farming groups. The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has described as “lunacy” proposed changes to the assessments of third level maintenance grants.

It is thought that the upcoming changes may see productive assets such as farmland and farm machinery being included in the means testing of the grants. While they are currently only assessed on actual income from their farm machinery or business, farmers, along with thousands of small shop and business owners, fear their land and machinery will be included for the first time in a new type of means test for student grants.

These new revisals should they go ahead could result in children from low income farm families being excluded from third-level education.