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Call for Government to ease burden on third level students

20 August, 2007

Speaking today, as CAO offers go out, Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald urged the government to address the rising costs faced by third level students and for an increase in the maintenance grant to provide financial assistance for those students struggling to cope.

The Dublin MEP said today, "Students now have to bear a greater financial burden with the increase in the general cost of living. In Dublin rent alone has increased by over 12 per cent within just one year. It is estimated that on average it costs students approximately €7,500 per year to attend college while those in receipt of the maintenance grant get just over €3,000. As a result of this many students, especially those 30,000 low income students, suffer financial hardship and many have to juggle part-time employment with their studies in order just to get by.

"Sinn Féin has called, as an interim measure, for the doubling of the maintenance grant to ensure that students struggling financially do not have to opt out of college or find themselves in considerable financial debt. The government must also tackle rising inflation and the increase in the general cost of living.

"In Ireland, the government merely pays lip service to providing free education ensuring a situation whereby money can largely determine what level of education one receives."


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