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Students say no to third-level loan scheme

Edward Corbett addresses the crowd at the Student fees protest at University of Limerick. Picture: Cian Reinhardt
Cian Reinhardt
Edward Corbett addresses the crowd at the Student fees protest at University of Limerick. Picture: Cian Reinhardt

Edward Corbett addresses the crowd at the Student fees protest at University of Limerick. Picture: Cian Reinhardt

Students from the University of Limerick stood in solidarity with The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) on Wednesday by holding a demonstration, calling on the Government to rule out any possible introduction of an income contingent loan scheme.

They are also asking for the government to request an increase in investments into colleges that have a lack of funding as well as decreasing the student contribution fees by at least €250.

Students marched through the University of Limerick campus to ask for third level fees to be reduced in the upcoming Budget 2018 Picture: Cian Reinhardt

Students marched through the University of Limerick campus to ask for third level fees to be reduced in the upcoming Budget 2018 Picture: Cian Reinhardt

In Dublin, thousands of students marched through the streets as part of the National Demonstration.

The USI says that many colleges are currently suffering financially with no future long-term plans to resolve the problem.

UL Academic Officer, Conor Hussey said that “Investments by the state in higher education will result in a quality and sustainable education that provides greater access to students regardless of their socio-economic background”.

Tife Onorihewe, Caroline Agoba and Unity Ankomah marched through the University of Limerick Campus. Picture: Cian Reinhardt

Tife Onorihewe, Caroline Agoba and Unity Ankomah marched through the University of Limerick Campus. Picture: Cian Reinhardt

According to the Cassells report, fees would increase from €3,000 to €5,000 in correlation with the loan scheme.

Students fear that the introduction of an income contingent loan scheme along with increased fees, will mean that many poorer students will have no choice but build up a minimum loan of €20,000.

Picture: Cian ReinhardtPicture: Cian Reinhardt

If the Government decides to introduce a loan scheme in the Budget 2018, Hussey has insisted that “the UL Students’ Union would strongly campaign against such a scheme.”

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