Student Maintenance Grant Reform
Following the NAO Report of 2010 in which the management, viability and “ineffectiveness of the smart card scheme” were highlighted, the Ministry looked at simpler ways to support students through a better system.
The NAO report highlighted various shortcomings that allowed students to circumvent the scope of the smart card, a scheme which was costing the Ministry in excess of 175,000 Euros every year as well as considerable human resources.
The new system will not monitor a student’s every purchase putting full trust on the student and enabling him to purchase all educational material from a wider range of outlets, including online purchases without the hassle of bureaucratic processes.
With more trust comes more responsibility and students will be expected to abide by a number of stipulations enlisted in their application forms. Through these stipulations, students who discontinue their studies or have a poor attendance record will have their grants and stipends terminated and will be required to pay back any overpayments paid to them.
Through the stipends and smart card system, Government was owed over half a million Euros in back payments from 2001. Through this improved system including through the use of e-ID for online registration, the Government will be in a better position to recoup any overpayment to students owing to the obligations of the registration.
More information is available on www.education.gov.mt. The education website will be updated periodically with more information and updates for all students.