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Crowe pledges Sinn Féin support for USI anti-fees campaign

1 November, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has pledged his support for the “Stop Fees, Save the Grant” campaign which was launched today by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

Deputy Crowe said;

“I would urge everyone to support the USI campaign which is about ensuring that access to third level education remains a right and not a privilege. As the USI rightly point out, being able to obtain a quality education is a vital prerequisite to kick-starting Ireland's economic recovery. Despite this, the Fine Gael/Labour government continues to target education by implementing the same policies as their predecessors. This has resulted in increased fees and cuts to the student grant.

“As things stand, students and their families are being burdened with massive debt and this is set to increase. I know of parents who are being forced to choose which of their children they can afford to send to third level education. Additional increases in fees will assure that only the very wealthy will be able to attend college or university.

“I would encourage everyone who believes in an equitable and fair education to support this campaign. As we approach December’s budget, the government has already made clear that they intend to make sweeping cuts to a whole range of services. Education is the third highest spending department and there are fears that Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn will further increase the student contribution fee in a move that will have a significant impact on low and middle income families and mature students.

“It is a policy that is short-sighted and will do nothing to kick-start the economy. If registration fees increase, then a growing number of people will be forced out of college and on to the dole.

“We in Sinn Féin support the USI campaign to keep third level education accessible, so that all of our citizens have the right to benefit from increasing their knowledge and learning new skills. We support their opposition to any attempt by the government to increase the student contribution and I would encourage everyone to sign up to their campaign by accessing:”

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