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PRESS RELEASE
Monday, October 22, 2012

For Immediate Publication

Dundalk’s local economy is set to lose an estimated €8,450,000 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 Dundalk.

This issue will be discussed at tonight’s USI Public Meeting on the Cost of College. The meeting will take place this evening at 8pm in the Dundalk Crowne Plaza Hotel.

There are currently 5,000 students attending Dundalk IT. 42.4% on grant of these students are receiving a maintenance grant (grant rates vary depending on means). 2,120 students are therefore receiving a grant. 2,880 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: 2,880 x €250 = €720,000

Year 2: 2,880 x €500 = €1,440,000

Year 3: 2,880 x €750 = €2,160,000

Year 4: 2,880 x €1000 = €2,880,000

Total loss to local economy from increases in fees: €7,200,000

 

The loss to the local economy from planned grant cuts is as follows:

Year 1: 2,120x €59 = €125,080

Year 2: 2,120x €118 = €250,160

Year 3: 2,120x €177 = €375,240

Year 4: 2,120x €236 = €500,320

 

Total loss to local economy from cuts to the student maintenance grant: €1,250,800

Total loss to the local economy from cuts to higher education: €8,450,000 over the next four years or €2,112,500 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 tonight’s Public Meeting on the Cost of College because Dundalk 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.”


-ENDS-

For more information contact USI Media and Communications Executive, Ronan Costello, on 085-1164263 or email media@usi.ie

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