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Union calls on Government to publish timeframe for tuition fees abolition



(Dublin – Tuesday 1 Febraury 2022) – Amid media reports of an inter-government showdown over the immediate future of the student contribution charge, UCD Students’ Union is calling on the Government to publish a timeframe for the abolition of the charge in its entirety.


While the mooted reduction of up to €1,000 would make a difference to a large number of students and their families and would welcomed, the Union believes that the Government has kicked the can down the road long enough on the wider question of higher education funding. UCDSU is also calling on the Government to outline how it intends to address the cost of college for postgraduate and international students.


After years of hearing from politicians and government officials that the time is not right due to the financial crisis or due to Brexit, the Union also considers reported concerns about public spending in light of COVID-19 to be a distraction.


UCDSU believes that education is a public good and does not advocate reducing education to a purely economic argument. However, it has been proven to generate huge returns and is an excellent investment in strictly economic terms, even if it initially has to be financed through borrowing.


Speaking on behalf of UCD Students’ Union, President Ruairí Power said:


Reports that a reduction in the student contribution charge are being proposed are welcome, but a timeframe for its abolition is essential. Students from low and middle income backgrounds are being locked out of studying in higher level as a result of prohibitive cost barriers. The benefits of investing in higher education as a public good far outweighs the cost associated. Donough O’Malley ignored the deficit hawks in 1967. The “better things aren’t possible” brigade in Government are often best ignored. In the context of the cost of living crisis for students, it’s beyond time we catch up other European countries who have been delivering third level education free at the point of entry for years.


UCDSU Graduate Officer Carla Gummerson said:


We hope that in the plans for lowering the student contribution fee that both postgraduate and International students are not forgotten in this process. Some students are paying astronomical fees, for instance our G.E.M ( Graduate Entry Medicine) course is 16,290 for EU/Irish students and 3 x times that amount for Non Eu/EEA students at 55,000 plus a year. We can not keep relying on these high fees to prop up Universities forever, it is not sustainable. We hope that the lowering of the fees will help in some way to ease the burden on students and their families.


ENDS


Media Contact:

Glenn Fitzpatrick Policy & Media Manager, UCD Students' Union CLG Tel: (087) 4521046 | e-mail: glenn.fitzpatrick@ucdsu.ie


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