Issued on behalf of the National Students Action Group by the Union of Students in Ireland at 1.30pm on 16.04.24

Members of the National Students Action Group, including students from a number of universities and colleges and the Union of Students in Ireland, are currently occupying the Department of Finance demanding to deliver a letter directly to Minister Michael McGrath or Minister Paschal Donohoe.

The letter outlines the terrible conditions that many students are currently facing and says that the group is taking direct action against Government due to the rise in youth homelessness and lack of welfare and financial supports for students in third level education.

The group is led by students from Trinity College, TU Dublin, Maynooth University, DCU, UCD, NCI and IADT, along with USI and the TCD Renters Solidarity Network and has been joined by students from other institutions.

Students and student representatives protested outside the building this lunchtime, and a number entered the building and intend to stay there until they can deliver a letter outlining their demands to one of the senior finance ministers.

The main aim of the National Students Action Group, an offshoot of the national student movement, is to stage demonstrations and direct actions to directly tackle Government on the student cost-of-living crisis.

In the letter, which is attached, they say: “We can no longer afford to be quiet about the terrible conditions currently impacting students and staff that are breaking the futures of Ireland’s youth, so we are speaking out.”

The six main demands are:

  • Permanent funding to bring student counselling services to a 1:1000 ratio of counsellors to students
  • Increase in core grant funding for institutions to plug the €307 million funding gap in the third-level education sector
  • Abolish tuition fees and move to a fully free higher education system
  • Seize vacant housing, restore the eviction ban and introduce rent controls to affordable levels
  • End precarious work in universities, among both academic and professional workers including postgraduates
  • Implement Universal Design for Learning