Recently I had a right of passage experience as a college student. I attended my first protest/march…. and it was pretty amazing!
Over the summer an evaluation of third level education took place and a report was drawn up- The Cassells report. I’ll try and keep the details brief just so you understand the context of this post.
The report essentially suggests three methods of funding third level education in the future in Ireland. The first option is to continue with the current method. Fees are 5,000€ but students only fund a total of 3,500€. I say only but this is still a large sum of money for a lot of people. There are also grants available but as it stands this grant system known as SUSI is flawed and quite difficult to avail of.
The second option would be publicly funded education. This would be the best option because it would remove the financial strain on students and their families. It would mean that people will not be unable to attend college because they cannot afford to go.But this seems to be more of a dream than an achievable reality.
And the final option that would cause great damage to the education system in Ireland and would greatly affect Irish society negatively is to implement a student loan scheme. Students would be required to pay for their entire fees with no government levy. These fees would start at 5,000€ and there would no longer be any form of grants available.
Maybe you can see now why this issue is so important to me. It is my issue not just because I am a student but because I have a responsibility as an Irish citizen for future generations who will want to receive a third level education without being faced with debt at the end of this period.
How can the government think its realistic to expect students to come out of college and be able to cope with an estimated debt of 20,000€ (average debt level for most 4 year degrees)?!
I’m a passionate person who loves a debate-as I’ve mentioned before- so the opportunity to go up to Dublin with the Students’ Union in my college was something I couldn’t miss out on.
Taking over the streets of Dublin, Yelling out and demanding to be heard, actually taking a stand on something I believe was an unreal experience- excuse the corny here.
College is a time in your life to try new things and feel like you’re waking up and doing something with your life. This is what I’ve heard from so many people when I first started college but it’s really only now in my second year that I feel this.
Guess this is definitely something to tick off my bucket list: Attend a protest-CHECK
While I may have had to take the day off work and skip the library study sesh it was totally worth it. Despite getting to stomp around Dublin for the day, I had such a laugh with the gang that was there.
Maybe this seems like a really pointless and boring post but I wanted to bring more attention to this campaign even to my tiny corner of the internet.
If you’re a student in Ireland and want to know more here’s the link to the USI (Union of Students Ireland) page: http://usi.ie/education/national-youth-council-of-ireland-equate-and-inmo-back-usis-national-demo-in-favour-of-publicly-funded-3rd-level-education/
Also check out the campaign on all social media outlets with #educationis
Until next time