Funding of third-level education up for discussion as the national students' union gears up for the Budget

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will host a forum today on “Education as a Public Good”. The forum is part of the union’s pre-Budget campaign and sees them sharing the stage with trade unionists and academics. The event, which will take place at the Wood Quay Venue, will include a seminar and discussion on the idea that the benefits of education to society the abolition of fees and a commitment to who wholly exchequer-funded education. 

Laura Harmon, USI President, said that “the Nevin Economic Research Institute last year concluded that education is a public good with benefits to the whole society - we wholeheartedly agree. The benefits flowing from an engaged and educated society go way beyond the skilled workforce - though the economic benefits are undoubted.”

This year, USI has tried to frame the debate around funding as being about a more holistic vision of third-level education. It has steered the conversation away from education as a graduate production line for industry. Vice President for Campaigns, Glenn Fitzpatrick, said that “this forum is just the latest initiative of the Union of Students in Ireland to engage with wider civil society - to discuss issues with groups who agree with us - and some who don't, to ensure the debate on education as a public good spreads.”

USI is calling on students across the country to attend their Rally for Education” on October 8 in Dublin. The rally will begin at the Garden of Remembrance and proceed to Molesworth Street. 

Confirmed speakers for the forum:

Mike Jennings, General Secretary of IFUT

Louise O'Reilly, SIPTU Education Organiser

Gerry Quinn TUI President

Laura Harmon, USI President

Craig McHugh, Irish Second Level Students' Union