The USI has called for Government investment in higher education and a reduction in the student contribution charge, but are unsure how...
The USI has also called for a reduction in the student contribution charge in the upcoming budget but the union has provided no figure to reduce it by. 
 
The union is also looking for the Government to create a new student housing strategy among a number of proposals.
 
USI President, Kevin Donoghue, told Campus.ie that reducing the student contribution charge will be a long-term process and that the the union cannot put a figure on it.
 
It’s “much more complicated question than just how much you want to take off it right now,” according to Mr Donoghue.
 
“The justification for increasing the contribution charge had been that the economic situation forced the hand of the minister at the time to do so but now in line with the economic recovery we would expect for that fee to be reduced in the upcoming budget," he added.
 
As part of the union’s pre-budget submission, the USI have urged the government to implement the Student Housing 2020 Strategy to accommodate the growing number of students seeking accommodation in Ireland.
 
USI President, Kevin Donoghue told Campus.ie that the Government need to re-zone properties specifically for the students.
 
“While the long term goal is purpose built student accommodation, this will take a number of years to come to fruition. 
 
“We need to find innovative solutions to this problem by looking at what we already have and how we can repurpose that for student accommodation,” said Mr Donoghue.
 
The submission also calls for the reversal of the cuts made to the under 26’s welfare allowance, the re-introduction of the grant supports for post-graduate students alongside a “reduction in fares or increased supports for students in commuter areas in line with other EU [European Union] countries".