- The rainy day is now: This morning, Tuesday 8th October, students rallied outside Leinster House at 8am before the release of Budget 2019 calling for serious government commitment to third level education
- Similar ‘rainy day’ actions occurred across campuses, eg. Limerick and Carlow
- USI and students seriously concerned about the future of access to higher education in Ireland if serious investment isn’t made
According to the 2016 Cassells Report, Higher Education in Ireland requires €600 million a year in funding up until 2024 just to maintain current standards, yet this morning Government have proposed just €300 million investment into HE in Budget 2019 up to 2024. As the Government proposes a rainy day fund as part of today’s budget, the Union of Students in Ireland says that “the rainy day is now” for higher education in Ireland.
USI President, Síona Cahill said: “Higher Education suffered cuts of almost 40% during the austerity years while students have felt the brunt of cuts to grants, lack of beds to lay their heads, and the second highest fees in Europe. As public finances have improved Government have continually ignored the plight of young people, students, and educators. “Government have a choice to make in this Budget: they can either squirrel away public money for the benefit of those in power, or they can invest in the future of their people.
“An accessible third-level education and socially mobile workforce is surely the best way to eradicate economic inequality and to stimulate the economy.” “We need to present-proof our education system, never mind trying to future-proof it” The Union of Students in Ireland are calling for students to be considered at the heart of Budget 2019. USI is calling for a reduction in the Student Contribution Charge and an increase in SUSI Grant investment. ENDS NOTES:
- The Union of Students in Ireland represents 374,000 students studying at third level across the island of Ireland.
- USI led over 6,000 students through the streets of Dublin last week for the ‘Raise the Roof’ Rally calling for significant investment in student accommodation.
- USI launched their 2019 Pre-Budget Submission in June, 2018. Find it here: https://goo.gl/jDLL3D
- See all images of today’s demonstration HERE, no reproduction fee.