Fact: Ireland has the highest college fees
in the European Union.
Can it be right that students are paying so much for
an underfunded higher education system?
It can't be right that students in Ireland are faced with the highest fees in the European Union.
We know that our education and the skills we gain will benefit us, but we also know they will benefit the whole society. Join with us to fight back for education as a public good.
With soaring rents, the highest fees in the EU and student supports totally out of touch with the needs of students it is incumbent on politicians in Ireland to rise up and take action.
We’re asking you to sign our Education for All pledge and commit to campaigning on these issues alongside Students’ Union activists across the country.
Students: Ring your Mammy
- Students are a mighty force to be reckoned with when we come together, but our parents are also very strong too. By getting them on board, we can show public representatives that access to education affects much more than just students.
- Ask them how they feel about students paying the highest fees in the EU and some of the highest student rents in Europe.
- Show them the Education for All video here on this page
- Ask them to write to, text, email or WhatsApp their TD about how they need to address access to Higher Education in 2021 and for them to sign the pledge
Day of Action 24 March 2021
When it comes to Funding and Fees:
- Higher education is critically underfunded. Before the pandemic, it was estimated that at least €500 million per annum of additional core public funding was required to keep the system afloat. The pandemic has only exacerbated these needs and without immediate action to fund the sector, our entire Higher education system could be under threat.
- Students in Ireland currently pay the highest fees in the EU at €3000 per year, just over a decade ago students paid less than a third of this.
- International Students are asked to pay over €6000 per year to attend Undergraduate courses in Ireland.
- Funding of public Higher Education institutions has dropped dramatically since the last recession and with the onset of another period of economic turbulence, Higher Education funding needs to be prioritized.
- For every €1 invested in Higher Education, a further €4 is circulated in the economy. Investment in Higher Education can act as a powerful stimulus to re-ignite our economy, and transform our society with higher levels of education, employment and life satisfaction.
- Students cannot afford to pay €3,000 per year and many rely on the assistance of their family and have to miss important classes just to attend work so they can foot the bill of pursuing an education.
- See the USI position paper on the funding of Higher Education
When it comes to Student Accommodation
- Cities like Dublin where student accommodation rents can reach into near €12,000 per 9 month contract, are among the most expensive in Europe. This is not a sustainable housing model, and students enjoy very limited rights in these set ups.
- Student renters do not enjoy the same level of protections as ordinary renters in standard tenancies. Many are “licensees” and landlords are able to enter the private settings of students while these tenants have very little security of tenure.
- In Spring 2020 and Autumn 2020, students were asked to fork out thousands of euros in advance for student accommodation they were never allowed to access or stay in due to COVID restrictions. Many of these students never got their money back due to a lack of rights and regulation in the student accommodation sector.
- We need a publicly financed student accommodation strategy and a charter for student tenant rights to address the lack of rights, cowboy landlordism and ridiculous rent prices burdened on student renters.
- See the USI Student Accommodation Position Paper
When it comes to Student Supports
- We welcome to the SUSI review process undertaken by Minister Simon Harris but we believe that the current level and system of student supports in Ireland are not fit for purpose and need to be modernised.
When it comes to Postgraduate Issues
- Mature Dependents are those who are over 23 but still live at home with their primary caregivers. Due to SUSI’s “Mature Dependant” criteria, many students end up losing out on grant funding that they otherwise would be entitled to.
- Several large campuses expect postgraduates to dedicate huge portions of their time to preparing course materials and teaching undergraduates as part of their course. The primary focus of these researchers is to advance knowledge within their field through research and analysis, teaching is a secondary activity to this and one that needs to be compensated fairly.
- Postgraduate educators receiving fair compensation for their work will ensure higher quality work in both their teaching and their research, which only serves to benefit both the institution, and the undergraduates being taught by them.
- Research is the means in which knowledge and understanding continuously expands across all fields, and with Ireland’s renowned reputation for academic excellence, we have a responsibility to maintain that passion for learning and understanding.
- Currently researchers can apply for funding with national organizations such as the Irish Research Council, or through funding options provided by their institutions. These options, are often insufficient and mean many have to take on additional jobs in order to be able to afford to work for their institution. We need additional funding or a restructuring of Ireland’s classification of researchers from students to workers.
- Additional financial resources will ensure researchers can fully dedicate themselves to their study, which will in turn support and improve Ireland’s global reputation for academic excellence.
Students: Help us to help you!
With soaring rents, the highest fees in the EU and student supports totally out of touch with the needs of students in this age, it is incumbent on politicians in Ireland to rise up and take action.
We’re asking you to sign our Education for All pledge and commit to campaigning on these issues alongside students’ union activists across the country.
Sign up to get involved! A form for people to sign up to email list to invite them to actions such as Phone Bank, Twitter actions, virtual protest etc. (We need this on the site)
Public Representatives: Help us!
Higher education is critically underfunded. Before the pandemic, it was estimated that at least €500 million per annum of additional core public funding was required to keep the system afloat. The pandemic has only exacerbated these needs and without immediate action to fund the sector, our entire Higher education system could be under threat.
Students in Ireland currently pay the highest fees in the EU at €3000 per year, just over a decade ago students paid less than a third of this.
International Students are asked to pay over €6000 per year to attend Undergraduate courses in Ireland.
Funding of public HE institutions has dropped dramatically since the last recession
Who’s signed it so far?