USI speaks out against bank's postgrad scheme

The Union of Students in Ireland has spoken out against Bank of Ireland's new postgraduate loan scheme.

The loan was launched this month with the support of Education Minister Ruairí Quinn and is being offered as a replacement to the postgraduate maintenance grant which was abolished by the Minister in Budget 2012.

The USI argues that Bank of Ireland is a profit-driven business and that the terms and conditions of the loan are not sensitive to student needs.

Kate Acheson of the USI is warning all students to read the small print carefully: "We have a few concerns about this loan scheme. Primarily, that students don't even know what it's about and the full terms and conditions.

"At the moment, any student that is signing up for a postgrad course, they might not be aware that the grants had been cut and the next option is the loan scheme.

"We have particular concerns about the punitive interest rate, which is 10.8%. Students aren't aware that when they finish their course, within three months they will have to start repaying this with a large interest rate attached to it."

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