Saturday 3 December 2016

10,000 students protest at loan scheme

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 20/10/2016 | 02:30

Students marched on Merrion Square, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Students marched on Merrion Square, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys

More than 10,000 students marched through Dublin to urge the Government not to impose a student loans scheme.

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More than twice as many students than expected took part in a huge demonstration in the capital yesterday.

Union of Students in Ireland (USI) President Annie Hoey told the Irish Independent third-level education had as much right to be funded by the State as other public services.

"Debt is debt. Young people don't want to be straddled with extra debt when they start making a living," she said.

"Graduates will end up paying taxes like everyone else...we don't believe college fees will be kept down if loans are introduced. Students in Britain were promised fees would be kept down but when loans were introduced they ended up rising from €1,000 a year to €9,000 a year," she said.

A student loan scheme, contingent on income levels earned after graduation, was one of the options in the recent Cassells Report which looked at funding options for the sector.

Irish Independent

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