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PRESS RELEASE
Friday, October 12,

For Immediate Publication

The Union of Students in Ireland is holding a Mature Students Convention in NUI Maynooth tomorrow, October 13th from 11am in the John Hume Building.

The convention will bring together mature students from colleges around Ireland for a day of training and networking. Topics covered will include effective budgeting, looking after your mental health, time management, running a mature students society on campus and will be a great opportunity for mature students to share their experiences and meet other mature students from around the country.

Since Budget 2011, over 7,000 mature students have had their maintenance grants cut by 60%. These students automatically received the non-adjacent rate of the grant in recognition of the substantially higher cost of living for those supporting children, partners or elderly parents. The savagae cuts to the grant have made further education cost-prohibitive for prospective mature students.

2011 Higher Education Authority figures show that circa 15% of third-level students in Ireland are mature students.

John Logue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland said:

“The barriers to full participation in third-level education are still too onerous for many aspiring students. Many are facing daily struggles to continue in higher education. While the Government talk about a society of lifelong learners, they continue to cut vital funding, jeopardising Ireland’s growing reputation as a place open to and encouraging of lifelong learning.”

Laura Harmon, Vice President for Equality and Citizenship said:

“We’re really looking forward to meeting the students at the convention and hearing about their experiences in third-level education in Ireland so that we can best represent their needs. Mature students often have different needs in higher education than traditional-age students and it’s important that these students are given a voice. The Union of Students in Ireland strives to enhance the student experience for all students so that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

-ENDS-

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

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