Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien, TD, met today in Leinster House with John Logue, the President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
During the wide ranging discussion Deputy O’Brien gave assurances that Sinn Féin would oppose any attempt by the Government to introduce changes to the student grant system that would prevent people from low income backgrounds accessing higher education.
Deputy O’Brien said;
“This was a very worthwhile meeting and I am keen to work with John and his colleagues in the USI to ensure the rights’ of students are protected. As we develop our pre-budget proposals, we want to hear the views of stakeholders in the third level sector in order to present well costed progressive proposals that are an alternative to the cuts that Minister Quinn is proposing. It was therefore very interesting to hear John’s views on a range of matters.
“Minister Quinn has strongly indicated that third level fees of €3,000 per year will have to be paid by 2015 with another €250 hike in the Student Contribution Fee set to be implemented as part of December’s budget, which will be repeated in 2014 and 2015.
“Sinn Féin is determined to oppose polices that will prevent those on low incomes from accessing higher education and there can be no return to the past when attending a college or university was seen as the sole preserve of a wealthy elite.”