Author: Daniel Waugh

Union of Students in Ireland Criticises New Draft Report of Student Loan System

The Union of Students in Ireland has criticised the new proposed loan scheme for students. It said it is unreasonable and will deter students from applying to college. Irish college fees are already the second highest in Europe. College graduates could face loan repayments in the region of €25 a week over a 15-year period under major reforms to third-level funding proposed in a Government-commissioned report.                  Kevin Donoghue,  USI president A draft report recommends the introduction of a new income-contingent loan system for graduates, increased maintenance grants for students from low income families and a greater contribution from both the State and employers. The findings are contained in a confidential 70-page draft report entitled Funding Irish Higher Education: A Virtuous Circle of Investment, Quality and Verification. USI said that an already broken loan system will only further fracture the structure of the Irish education system. “This would represent a real increase of €7,500 in fees for third level. It is unreasonable to think an increase in the current fee levels should be part of addressing third level funding. We need to look at the stakeholders who aren’t making the contribution they should be.” Kevin Donoghue, Union of Students in Ireland President, said, “Irish college fees are already the second highest in Europe. In supposed times of recovery, 30,000 people have already emigrated from Ireland this year alone. The...

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USI Stands in Solidarity with Ibrahim Halawa

Today is Human Rights Day. USI is fully supporting Amnesty International and standing in solidarity with Ibrahim Halawa. Please join us today and assemble outside the Amnesty International offices on Fleet Street in Temple Bar at 5:30pm and add your voice to the call for Ibrahim’s immediate and unconditional release. Tomorrow, on the 11th December, two days before Ibrahim’s 20th birthday (he was 17 when he was first imprisoned), USI will be running a ‪#‎FreeIbrahim‬ campaign in campuses across Ireland. Please take a picture of yourself with a ‘Happy Birthday Ibrahim’ postcard, share it on social media, sign it,...

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USI Criticises Government’s Postponed Commitment to Climate Change

The Union of Students in Ireland has criticised the Taoiseach’s postponed commitment to climate change and is urging the government to prioritise it as a matter of urgency. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said financial challenges will prevent Ireland from making deep cuts in emissions from our agriculture sector at the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 last week. He warned that not until after 2020, and when the economy recovers, would the State be in a position to meet “aggressive targets”. The Taoiseach said that existing European Commission targets to reduce emissions from agriculture by 2020 were...

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USI welcomes the New Law Protecting LGBT Teachers and Medics

                    Kevin Donoghue, USI President The Union of Students in Ireland today said the amendment to the Employment Equality Bill is progressive in equality, dignity and inclusion. Before yesterday, the 2nd of December, teachers and medics at religious institutions could be dismissed if their sexuality conflicted with the religious ethos of the school or hospital. The Employment Equality Bill (Miscellaneous Provisions) 2013, the new law to amend the controversial Section 37 provisions, came into effect yesterday on the 2nd of December, meaning teachers and medical staff won’t fear adverse treatment as a result of being open about their sexuality...

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USI criticises TTIP for being fundamentally Anti-democratic and Toxic to European Societies

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) spoke out against The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) today, calling them fundamentally anti-democratic and toxic to European societies. TTIP is a number of trade negotiations taking place mostly confidentially between Europe and the US. TTIP’s bi-lateral trade agreement is to break or reduce the regulatory trade barriers for large corporations, such as food safety law, environmental legislation and the sovereign powers of individual nations can potentially be hugely compromised. The Union of Students in Ireland said there are six key areas of Irish, and indeed European, societies that can be...

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