‘Time to focus on education Have-Nots,’ say students
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI), today launching its pre-Budget submission, said its proposals are informed by “the needs of students and young people from all walks of life”.
Central too, said USI, are the needs of those “who have never been to college but deserve every opportunity to do so”.
USI’s pre-Budget submission sets out students’ spending priorities for Third Level, as well as measures to address the health and welfare needs of young people. These include measures to support people:
• On Low and Fixed-income Backgrounds: USI calls for a fairer, higher, Maintenance Grant that reflects the actual costs of studying at third level.
• Returning to Education: USI calls for the extension of Free Fees and Maintenance Grants to include part-time students; and funding for childcare.
• In Society: USI calls for measures to support the mental, sexual, and physical health of young people.
USI President Colm Hamrogue said: “Our pre-Budget submission addresses the Higher and Further Education needs of students and non-students. It is not only young people who would benefit from implementation of our plans, but also adult learners and those who might return to study in future.
“USI is calling for substantial new investment in college infrastructure. We also want to see financial supports beefed up substantially, and applied more universally to people from different backgrounds. At the moment, parents, part-time students and low-income learners are not receiving the necessary level of support.
USI Welfare Officer Kelly Mackey said: “Higher and Further Education is a passport to economic and social mobility, but young people will only derive maximum benefit from education if their health and welfare needs are properly addressed.
“USI is calling on Ministers to invest in tackling the increase in Sexually Transmitted Infections. Investment is also required to fund no-cost medical care for thousands more individuals.”
To view the USI Pre-Budget Submission in PDF Format click here