The Union of Students in Ireland has cautiously welcomed a statement from the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, that no plan exists inside her department for the introduction of a student loan scheme ‘for the near future’.  

 

Responding to DCU student Craig McHugh outside Leinster House last week, the Minister said:

 

“In Galway last week, the Taoiseach and I have both said that student loans are off the table.  There is no plan in the department looking at that for the near future.”

 

The Minister was addressing students who were demonstrating against the lack of regulation on the cost of student accommodation organised by DCU Students’ Union. The Minister of State also went on to discuss additional investment for higher education from the most recent budget.

 

Speaking after the Minister’s remarks, USI President Michael Kerrigan said:

 

“Students across Ireland will welcome the clearest indication yet on the thinking of the government on student loans. We’re keen to have the Minister clarify her sense of ‘the near future’ and to have the government confirm this formally on the record in Leinster House.”

 

ENDS

 

NOTES:

 

  • USI is the national representative body for the 374,000 students in third level education on the Island of Ireland. USI works to improve and protect the lives of students every day on academic and social issues through campaigns, training and research.

 

The comments of the Minister are available to watch on the USI website

 

Contact:  Michael Kerrigan, USI President: 0876911515