Union of Students in Ireland to hold national protest next month
On Wednesday 4 October, the USI will hold a national demonstration in Dublin.
The Union of Students in Ireland are demanding immediate action be taken by the Government to invest in publicly-funded higher education and for a greater grant investment in next year's Budget.
As per the USI website, the union is calling on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to make a historic long-term decision to invest in a publicly-funded third level education model, as outlined in the Cassells Report.
This report was published over 15 months ago; USI President Michael Kerrigan warned that without the government's investment, this new income-contingent student loan would essentially force the majority of third-level students to emigrate in order to afford further education and student housing elsewhere.
Kerrigan announced: "We have unions representing college staff, third-level students and now second-level students campaigning on the streets for public investment.
"Listen to the people this decision will directly affect. In a country where generations may never get mortgages or a home, saddling more debt onto children cannot be the answer to increasing access to higher education. This demonstration is the first of many because of inaction from Government to invest in a eroding education system."
The fear is that the same thing will happen here that has happened to students en masse in New Zealand, where more than half of the applicants for housing loans are still paying off student debt, and over a third of those are rejected due to those student loans.