The Union of Students in Ireland has slammed Ógra Fianna Fáil for proposing an income-contingent loan scheme for the Irish 3rd level education system at the gates of Trinity College on Friday the 23rd October. USI said the loan system is overwhelmingly intimidating and will deter students from applying to college.
Ógra Fianna Fáil said “a pragmatic approach to our declining 3rd level system is needed – one that provides a good quality education that is free at point of access and that makes higher education affordable to students.” However, the USI said that an already broken loan system will only further fracture the structure of the Irish education system.
In supposed times of recovery, 30,000 people have already emigrated from Ireland this year alone. The USI said this loan system will only push people further away and outlined that other countries in Europe offer better pay and lower registration fees, making the cost of education cheaper abroad.
“The federal 3rd level loan system did not work in the UK or the USA. It would be impractical and illogical to introduce an already broken loan scheme to Ireland.” Kevin Donoghue, preside of Union of Students in Ireland, said. “For the majority of students that struggle to find a well-paid job straight out of college, this debt can be overwhelmingly intimidating – like a huge bet they lost. Unsubsidised loans will even build interest while you you’re enrolled. For many young people, the lack of financial security will deter even more students from applying to college.
“The student loan system crippled the government so much in the UK that they had to sell off the student loan books at the end of 2013.The privatisation of this public asset meant that the money borrowed from the Government to pay for public universities in the UK started to flow straight to private financial institutions, which (like the privatisation of the NHS and Royal Mail in the UK) will undoubtedly have dire long-term consequences. Selling into privatisation is an assault on the education system, and in turn, students. This system did not work in the UK. It would desecrate Ireland, tearing it apart and converting it from the Land of Saints and Scholars into the Land of Corporate Greed and Economically Paralysed.”