Monday, October 22, 2012
For Immediate Publication
Sligo’s local economy is set to lose an estimated €9,897,150 over the next four years due to college fee hikes and cuts to the student maintenance grant.
Students and parents who are forced to absorb the harsh fee increases and grant cuts being planned by the government will be left with significantly reduced disposable income, which will have a direct effect on local businesses in Sligo.
This issue will be discussed at USI’s Public Meeting on the Cost of College this evening. The meeting will take place at 8pm in the Glasshouse Hotel.
There are currently 7,500 students attending IT Sligo and St Angela’s College. 61.8% of these students are receiving a maintenance grant (grant rates vary depending on means). 4,635 students are therefore receiving a grant. 2,865 students pay full fees, without any State assistance. The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, has already increased fees by €250 and has said that he intends do the same this year and every year until 2015, when fees will be €3,000.
Therefore, the loss to the local economy from students who pay full fees is as follows:
Year 1: 2,865 x €250 = €716,250
Year 2: 2,865 x €250 = €1,432,500
Year 3: 2,865 x €750 = €2,148,750
Year 4: 2,865 x €1000 = €2,865,000
Total loss to local economy from increases in fees: €7,162,500
Year 1: 4,635 x €59 = €273,465
Year 2: 4,635 x €118 = €546,930
Year 3: 4,635 x €177 = €820,395
Year 4: 4,635 x €236 = €1,093,860
Total loss to the local economy from cuts to the student maintenance grant: €2,734,650
Total loss to the local economy from cuts to higher education: €9,897,150 over the next four years or €2,474,287.50 per annum.
John Logue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland said:
“These figures illustrate how cuts to the third level funding have a hugely detrimental effect on local economies. The hardhsip caused by fee increases and grant cuts isn’t isolated to students and their families, it effects the entire community.The thousands of students who populate college towns sustain business both large and small. Landlords, shop owners and other business proprietors rely on these students to maintain a healthy turnover. We are encouraging everyone to attend tomorrow evening’s Public Meeting on the Cost of College because Sligo can’t afford to have its students targeted anymore by a Government that is denying the youth of this country the same opportunities that were promised to previous generations.”
For more information contact USI Media and Communications Executive, Ronan Costello, on 085-1164263 or firstname.lastname@example.org