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Doherty to deliver USI proposals on third level fees to cabinet members

8 July, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education has today been requested by the Union of Students Ireland (USI) to deliver the student’s alternative to Batt O’Keefe’s proposed student loans system. Senator Doherty said it is a disgrace that the USI was excluded from negotiations on the reintroduction of third level fees.

Speaking today Senator Doherty said:

“The USI, the organisation representative of thousands of students across the state, has been excluded from any negotiations with regards to the reintroduction of third level fees.

“It is utterly disgraceful that the Minister for Education, himself a former lecturer, has refused to listen to voices of those who are actually going to have to suffer the affects of his flawed new system.

“I intend to deliver the USI’s proposals to cabinet ministers today in an effort to force those in power to listen to the people.

“If these student loans come into being the affects on students will be monstrous. Students could be paying anything from €7,000 per year for an arts, law or business degree to over €10,000 a year for science and engineering and up to about €30,000 a year for the clinical stages of a medicine degree.

“Let’s be serious here. Does the Minister honestly believe that these fees are not going to act as a barrier to third level education? With upwards of €120,000 in debt hanging over their heads? Is he for real?!

“We all knew the Minister was intent on imposing these fees. However he has cynically waited until after the local and European elections to bring forward his proposals.

“Sinn Féin will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the 175,000 students who are opposing these fees.” ENDS

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