Introduction of Student Loans will not address Third Level Funding Crisis – Nolan
Commenting on the proposals contained in the Cassell’s report published today, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Deputy Carol Nolan, has said that the introduction of a student loan system will not address the funding crisis in third level education.
Deputy Nolan said:
“According to the Irish League of Credit Unions survey last year, 59% of parents are getting into debt on average of over €5,000 through private borrowing to cover the costs of going to college.
“Ireland has the 3rd highest rate of personal and household indebtedness in the EU and an increase debt on graduation could further exacerbate this.
“The introduction of a student loan will not address the immediate shortfall in funding as outlined by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform as it would take a number of years to implement.
“It has been proven in other countries that student loans do not increase participation in third level education and many students from lower-socio economic backgrounds are particularly debt averse and may be less likely to pursue third level studies as a result.
“A government backed loan scheme will require a significant upfront cost and could be a potential future drain on public finances as experience shows from other countries shows that a significant number of loans are written off.
“The introduction of a student loan scheme may also make it more attractive for graduates to emigrate after they complete their studies, resulting in a huge brain drain for the country.
“Figures released in 2015 by the CSO showed that over half of emigrants over the age of fifteen had a third level degree
“Sinn Féin is vehemently opposed to the imposition of a further burden on students and families, either through increased fees or the introduction of a loan system.”