Monday 27 February 2017

Grant-aided students buying more booze than books

John Drennan

John Drennan

A government report is set to lift the lid on student life -- revealing that grant-aided students spend three times more a month on "alcohol and socialising" than on books.

The Economic and Social Research Institute report will show that students spend €132 a month on having a good time -- but about €30 a month on books and study aides. But when questioned about their spending, researchers were told that it

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was books rather than bar bills that were of most concern to students.

"Books were cited by most students as causing significant and sometimes unexpected financial strain,'' the report will reveal.

However figures indicate "that students who receive the full maintenance grant of €3,250 a year may be spending more than a third of this on alcohol and cigarettes", says one source.

Over the nine-month college year, students on the full grant receive €361 per month from the State.

Over 33,500 -- or 25 per cent of third-level students -- receive a grant. The top rate is €3,250 for students who live away from home, but some 16,000 also receive a Special Rate of Maintenance grant for students from extremely low income backgrounds of just over €6,355.

The report, which examines various areas of student life, will also reveal that despite the recession students have no intention of abandoning their party lifestyle.

Despite complaints about the absence of money our third-level aspirant graduates told researchers that their main object in life is to "go out drinking the whole time".

Another student told the study: "Everyone in your class goes out once or twice a week. I'd say socialising is my biggest expense outside trying to actually live."

An education figure said that this research proved "this constant moaning about the college grant is just a joke. They have been found out here. It's time now to stop doing their degrees by going on the beer, get off the booze bus, and get back to the lecture hall with their sandwiches in their pockets''.

Another veteran college source meanwhile told the Sunday Independent: "It used to be the case that poor students would send telegrams saying 'no mon no fun, your dear old son' and get replies like 'too bad poor lad, your dear old dad'. Now the State is providing them with the money for fun.''

Sunday Independent

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