Students take to the streets to promote education in Budget 2015

Students take to the streets to promote value of education in advance of Budget 2015.

College staff, lecturers, trade unions and secondary students unite with USI.

The Union of Students in Ireland will tomorrow (Wednesday 8 October) rally together with lecturers, college staff, trade unions and secondary students, in advance of next week’s budget announcements. Thousands of students will march from the Garden of Remembrance, through the streets of Dublin to a rally outside the houses of the Oireachtas. The rally is the latest action in USI’s campaign to protect student supports and have education recognised as a public good.


Speaking in advance of the rally, USI President Laura Harmon said: “We’re here today to build a coalition in support of education. Education is Ireland’s hope for a better future – so we’re prepared to work hard to promote the value of it. Students, college staff and trade unions want to work together with other civil society organisations to highlight the central role college can have in the future development of Irish society. College is too expensive for many, with the second highest fees in Europe. Meanwhile, the student maintenance grant helps thousands who otherwise could simply not afford to enter third level education. It was protected for the first time in five years in Budget 2014 and needs to be protected again now. The cost of living for students continues to rise – there’s been a 10% national increase in rental prices and 17% increase in Dublin over the last year. It’s getting harder to make ends meet – there really must be some relief for students in Budget 2015. Thousands of students will be arriving from across the island to tell public representatives and the Government that education is valuable, is worth investing in and must be treated as a public good in this budget and beyond.” USI’s key calls to government are:

  • Protect student supports – the student maintenance grant and the Back to Education Allowance are vital pillars in ensuring access to college for thousands of students and reskilling workers
  • Secure a commitment by the government not to introduce any deferred payment scheme (loans or graduate tax)
  • Secure investment in purpose-built student accommodation to ease the housing crisis in Dublin and other college towns
  • Return the €25m withheld from colleges in two previous budgets