The proposal, which would affect new entrants to postgraduate courses from next September on, would cause thousands of would be postgraduate students to emigrate in search of opportunities to work and study.
USI President Gary Redmond said: “News of this proposal has been greeted with shock and dismay by students, parents and families. The Programme for Government promises a surgeon's scalpel would be taken to waste and inefficiency in Higher Education. Instead a butcher's cleaver appears to have been taken to student supports such as the Maintenance Grant."
Prior to the election, Ruairi Quinn, the then education spokesperson for the Labour Party, signed a pledge written by the USI that if the Labour Party was elected to Government, there would be no increase in College fees or Cuts to the Maintenance Grant.
"In practice, entry to many professions requires some form of a postgraduate qualification. Families who are not in a position to pay fees for postgraduate courses and pay for other associated costs would find it impossible for their children to progress to postgraduate courses", Redmond concluded.
USI is calling on students, parents and all members of the community to attend USI's National Protest on Wednesday 16thNovember at 1.30 in Parnell Square.