College Life editor Laura Smith discusses the harsh reality of the possible student loan scheme.
If you were to ask me what education is, I’d simply reply with saying education is a right, education is what we’re told is our passport to life, our key to unlocking a greater life for ourselves. What education is not? It's not €20,000 in the red when we leave college and having this barrier in our lives. Education is not forcing young people to choose the option of not going to college because simply the funds are not available. Education is not, and shouldn't be, in the red and students won’t stand for it.
When the government announced plans to create a loan scheme for third level students, the USI created a campaign called ‘Education Is’. The USI called on Student Unions and students to join the campaign which has turned out to be a success. The campaign "Education Is" aims at taking to the streets to march against this loan scheme for students.
The harsh reality of this introduction to the loan schemes means sacrificing the future of young people’s life. It means a lot of smart, hardworking young people will be faced with debt when they finish college…what a great start to life. The harsh reality of this loan scheme means SUSI grants are cut making the life of a student more intense and a financial struggle. The harsh reality for a lot of people meaning third level education will be only just a dream and not a reality if the government decide on this introduction of the loan scheme.
The USI called on all student unions and students to march against this from happening as in their campaign "Education Is" not in the red. With Student Unions and the USI they believe third level education should be publicly funded and not a loan scheme. Student lives are intense enough and students across Ireland certainly don’t need their education in the red when they leave college.
The protest against the loan scheme started at 1pm on the 4th of October leaving the Custom House Quay and then protesting outside the Department of Taoiseach. Students are being forced into this loan scheme but why should they b? It's their education, their right and their future at stake. The USI and student unions across Ireland are trying to stop this from happening. Over 20,000 students showing up to protest against this introduction of the loan scheme.
The event called on the government not to implement this loan scheme and to reduce the amount of college fees that students have to pay yearly. The USI and student unions are also calling on the government to increase in the amount of student support services for students. This is something students feel the need is to be meet. The march against fees was a success with posters and callings rejecting the government plans on the loan scheme in the budget next week. The government need to fulfil the needs of students and not hinder them with debt.
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