Students hit out at lack of support for motion to block "income-contingent" student loans

"Take your €20,000 debt, your degree, and get out”. 

That, according to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), is the message being sent to Irish students by the Seanad’s failure today to support a motion calling for the rejection of an income-contingent student loan scheme.

USI President Michael Kerrigan went on to express his group’s disappointment at the failure of the Labour party’s private members motion to achieve the required support.

“Not all of our Senators were brave enough to make the ambitious decision and reject an income contingent loan scheme, despite the obvious and unfair burden placed on students and their families. The message is loud and clear to future students: take your €20,000 debt, your degree, and get out”.

Mr Kerrigan went on to welcome the fact that senators across party lines declared publicly funded higher education as something to strive for.

"It’s time our Government put their money where their mouth is and make the commitment to publicly invest now.

"Senators from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael asked for patience with the Joint Committee on Education and Skills to come to a conclusion and publish their recommendations on how third-level should be funded. Well, we say this - where are these recommendations as our colleges crumble before us?”.

Mr Kerrigan said the USI are calling on the Joint Committee on Education and Skills to make a decision on the future funding of third-level education and to reject any move to implement an income-contingent loan scheme but instead to publicly invest in third level education.

Reacting to the vote final year student, Cian Lalor, from IT Carlow revealed how he had been in debt since he was 17.

"I have always been in financial debt because of my loans. I couldn’t imagine being able to also afford loans of €20,000 for my degree”.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Still a lack of women in senior roles at third level, says HEA

Education minister to have power to probe colleges

School support staff to be balloted on strike action

Three Irish universities improve in world rankings

More in this Section

Tributes paid to young footballer who died in car crash while on holiday

Ballycotton Lifeboat rescues stricken yacht 60 miles off Cork coast in one of their longest callouts

Latest: Details of man's body recovered from River Dodder in Dublin still unknown

Survey reveals how many drivers take out excess insurance on rental cars


Today's Stories

Gerry Adams denies he will step down as Sinn Féin leader in autumn

Calls for homicide to carry minimum jail term

Navy to use more drones after catching smuggler pretending to be refugee

Cost of surgeries for patients with morbid obesity doubles

Lifestyle

Wife, mother, and maker of fine furniture

Meet Michael Moss - London’s last Irish farmer

Finding inspiration on a quiet island in West Cork

David Lyttle is taking jazz back to America

More From The Irish Examiner