Thursday 21 February 2019

'There is a lack of recognition for third level students'

Sam Riggs College student

Trinity student Samuel Riggs, on campus in the city centre. Photo: El Keegan
Trinity student Samuel Riggs, on campus in the city centre. Photo: El Keegan

THE absence of an increase to student fees was counter-balanced by "a lack of recognition" of those in third level, said Trinity College Dublin student Sam Riggs.

The final year English student said he was disappointed with this year's budget, in which he felt third-level had been ignored.

"It would have been nice if they had given something to the third-level institutions, considering they specifically mentioned primary and secondary," he said.

Riggs added that while a fee increase had not been particularly expected, there "definitely was a worry" that students would once again be hit by a rise. However, he said that he was surprised that the Budget barely mentioned students - especially as many were registered to vote since the same-sex marriage referendum.

"The lack of recognition is quite frustrating," he said. "It's like we've been completely forgotten."

Sam was particularly interested in further investment in third-level institutions so that they would be able to provide more space in overcrowded lecture theatres.

"I have heard stories of people sitting on tables in classes, because the space isn't there."

He also highlighted that Irish third-level institutions were slipping in global league tables, and that the Budget would have been an opportunity to address this.

As he looks towards graduating next year, Sam says that he hopes to find work in media and publishing and that emigration is not on his immediate agenda.

"I would like to start in Ireland for a little while," he said. "I know the economy is in dire straights, so I would feel a little selfish."

While he feels he will go abroad in a few years time, he said he was confident that Dublin would present opportunities to young people.

"You look at the Silicon Docks area - people from Scandinavian countries are coming over to work here," he said.

Irish Independent

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