The Union of Students in Ireland welcomes reports that Government is planning to make a significant reduction to the Student Contribution Charge.
USI has campaigned for the abolition of the €3,000 Student Contribution Charge and for a plan to be made to implement a publicly funded system of third-level education in Ireland.
In USI’s last Pre-Budget Submission, the union called for Government to introduce a three-year plan to abolish fees, with a €1,000 reduction made last year and the same again in the next two budgets.
And while no changes were made to the Student Contribution Charge in Budget 2022, USI would welcome a €1,000 reduction to the fee in this year’s Budget, as reported in today’s media.
USI President, Clare Austick said: “We know that Minister Harris has agreed with us that the Student Contribution fee, which is currently the highest in the EU, is too high and that it prevents many people from accessing higher education and that that needs to change. USI will continue to campaign for the end of fees, but in the meantime the reduction would be very welcome for students, many of whom are struggling with financial hardship. The reports this morning are very positive to see and the move would be a welcome step in the right direction and would show a commitment to supporting students and their families.
“Making a significant reduction to the Student Contribution Charge would also recognise the importance and value of our education system. Education is a right and not a privilege, service or business. USI firmly believes that anyone who wants to attend third-level should be able to, and cost should never be a barrier to that.”