Education

Union of Students Ireland plan massive walkout in response to student cost-of-living crisis

Following the announcement of the 2023 Budget the USI are calling on thousands of university students across the country to walk out at 11:11am on Thursday October 13th

By Ellen Cornelius

On Thursday October 13th the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is asking its members to walk out of class and assemble on their respective campuses.

The USI is the national representative body for the 374,000 students in third level education on Island of Ireland.

“We aim to remind college authorities and politicians that students aren’t an endless money pit” says USI on their official campaign page.

According to the USI cost of college campaign there is an expected shortage of 20,000 student beds by 2024.

In their campaign they also point to failures by the 2023 Budget to address the growing student accommodation crisis.

The USI has outlined its demands clearly in their campaign.

These demands include the call for an eviction ban and the establishment of housing as a constitutional right.

In terms of accommodation, they also want to see student rents capped and for the government to utilise public funds to subsidise the building of affordable student accommodation.

The USI also wants the student contribution charge to be abolished and for the funding gap in the higher education sector to be closed.

A press release last month by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) outlined that the €40m increase in funding represents just 13 percent of the €307m gap in funding identified by the government.

The USI has also called for the minimum wage to match the current living wage of €13.10 an hour. For students looking to take part in this campaign, more information can be found at Join the walkout – Cost Of College (usi.ie)

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