Sunday 20 October 2019

Budget 2020: 'I've no choice... I need a job but I know it’ll impact my grades' - student Amy (21)

Amy Donohoe, student in DCU from Cavan (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Amy Donohoe, student in DCU from Cavan (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

Gabija Gataveckaite

A DCU student hopes next week's Budget will bring reduced travel costs to cut her weekly commute from Cavan.

Amy Donohoe (21) is studying an MSc in Climate Change: Policy, Media and Society. She hopes that the Irish government will invest in more sustainable and accessible transport for all.

"A student return ticket on Bus Eireann is €20.50, with an open return which is valid for two weeks," she said.

"Dublin Bus had July as a free month for child Leap Card holders and I think they should do something similar for students. The weekly cap is €20, which is €80 a month. That’s a lot of money for students, and even if it was reduced by 20pc, it would be much more affordable," Ms Donohoe added.

She added that increasing the third-level SUSI grant would also be of benefit to students, both undergraduate and postgraduate.

Currently, students that are non-adjacent, or live more than 45km away from the university, receive larger payments than those who live less than 45km away from the college.

"Allocating the grant via adjacent and non-adjacent rates isn’t really fair," she explained.

"I have friends who live in Dublin and they have the same costs."

While she currently lives on campus, Ms Donohoe said that the grant barley covers rent costs.

"The SUSI just about scrapes by for the rent, which is around €660 a month. I’m lucky as my accommodation is good but there’s students paying the same and live in awful places, damp houses," she said.

The Masters student is currently searching for a job to take up during her spare time throughout the week.

"I need a job but I know it’ll impact my grades.

"I’ve no choice though, because I have to buy groceries and live also, not just pay the rent," she said.

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