Students want fee cuts and protections for those campaigning for the government ahead of the 2023 budget

The housing crisis and rising cost of living are key issues to be addressed by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in today’s pre-budget submission.

SI representatives will encourage the attending ministers and TDs to take a number of measures to relieve the financial burden on students.

USI’s Pre-Budget Template “A Living Crisis, A Student Crisis” calls for a €1,000 reduction in the student dues fee; Legislation to protect students in “grave” accommodation; an increase in the SUSI grant of €1,000 and increased income limits; Capital grants to universities and colleges to build student housing that is strictly affordable and a grant to reduce student living costs caused by hidden course costs.

“The cost of living crisis is not a new emerging issue for Ireland’s students. Between the highest tuition fees in the EU and a complete lack of affordable, purpose-built student accommodation, many students are being forced to choose between paying the bills or putting food on the table,” said USI President Beth O’Reilly.

“After the creation of the Department of Higher Education, many thought that the problems faced by third-level students would be prioritized by government for the first time. Unfortunately, the main problems that most students face are still largely unsolved.

“The student housing crisis is probably the worst it has ever been. Many students face a year of lengthy commutes because there simply aren’t enough beds to accommodate the number of students they need. Investing in higher education is investing in Ireland’s future. Government investment in higher education is one thing, but students also need to see it in their pockets,” said Ms. O’Reilly.

The higher education sector is becoming “increasingly marginalized” due to the burden of the €3,000 tuition fee and “many hidden fees,” said USI vice president for campaigns Ross Boyd.

“Access to education should not be limited to those who can afford it. Everyone has a right to education.

“While the planned increase in funding for the higher education sector is certainly welcomed, a parallel commitment to the elimination of fees must be made.

“We recently announced our intention to organize a student strike on October 13th to draw attention to the catastrophic housing crisis and we are currently planning other future actions with our members,” said Mr Boyd. Students want fee cuts and protections for those campaigning for the government ahead of the 2023 budget

Fry Electronics Team

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