Student loans are off the table at the moment but #EducationIs and #Fundthefuture is still a priority.
Across the country staff and Students staged a walkout protest to call on the government to Fund Our Future of Higher Education. This directly led to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stating in the Dail that he was “very reluctant” to see student contributions being raised beyond €3,000 or to go down the model of a student loan system.
‘Education Is’ is a USI campaign calling on the Irish government and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to make a historic long-term decision and invest in the publicly-funded third level education model as outlined in the Cassells Report. USI know that income-contingent loan scheme is not a viable solution to third-level funding. This system will create a burden of €20,000+ debt on anyone who wishes to attend third-level education.
IT Carlow Students’ Union received a mandate from Class Representative Council in the 16/17 academic year to lobby for publicly funded higher education. The mandate can be found here.
The Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) has announced a national demonstration will take place in Dublin on October 4th. IT Carlow Students’ Union will join USI and many other Students’ Unions from around Ireland to demand immediate action by the Government to invest in publicly funded higher education and for greater grant investment in Budget 2018.
The Cassells Report, which was released over 15 month outlines the option for a publicly-funded third level education model, and we are calling on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to follow this option and make this historic decision.
IT Carlow Students’ Union President Lorna Fitzpatrick has warned, “An income-contingent loan scheme as outlined in the Cassells Report will see an increase in fees from €3,000 to €5,000 a year. If this were to be introduced, we are automatically saddling our students with a debt of €20,000 upwards. This is down to a choice of ideals because if it was economics, social good and good for the state, it would be clear that publicly funded higher education is the right choice.
“IT Carlow Students’ Union intends to travel with 500 students which will be a 50% increase in numbers that attended the national demonstration last year.” Ms Fitzpatrick said. ”I have presented to both Carlow, and Wexford County Councils on this funding model and both County Councils are bringing motions forward to support the publicly-funded model for higher education. People from Carlow are calling out for publicly funded higher education.”
USI claims an income-contingent loan scheme is unsustainable and will lead to negative effects in the long term. The position paper on the funding of the higher education sector can be found here.
USI is campaigning for the Government to rule out any possible introduction of an income contingent loan scheme in Budget 2018 and to reduce the Student Contribution Charge by a minimum of €250 and invest €1.26bn into higher education over the next decade in a bid to make the brave decision to publicly invest in third-level education.