Fight for Your Future Now

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We’re fighting to protect the Student Maintenance Grant and student supports like the Back to Education Allowance in the upcoming Budget 2014

We’re fighting for the Government to create a National JobsPlan for young people and invest heavily in the European Youth Guarantee

  • The student maintenance grant has been cut in the last 4 consecutive Budgets in either the rate or threshold
  • The average level of the grant is now €84 per week, which compares negatively with the lowest rate of Jobseekers’ Allowance at €100 per week
  • The gap between the increasing cost of going to college and student supports available continues to widen, placing an enormous burden on vulnerable students and families in affording third-level education
  • The rate of youth unemployment in Ireland is currently at over  30%, and rises to 45% amongst young graduates with relevant degrees
  • On average, more than 200 people per day emigrated from Ireland in 2012. Over 120,000 people aged between 15 and 24 have emigrated in the past 4 years alone. 57% of Irish students now feel they will have to emigrate when they finish their degree
  • We’re fighting to protect the Student Maintenance Grant and student supports like the Back to Education Allowance in the upcoming Budget 2014
  • We’re fighting for the Government to create a National Jobs Plan for young people and invest heavily in the European Youth Guarantee

What you can do?

  • Sign up to SERD, our voter registration database (at vote.usi.ie)
  • Share your story with your local TD on deardeputy.ie
  • Attend your regional protest march in Sligo on the National Day of Action, October 1st
  • Contact your local TD directly to let them know you and your family will not stand for being targeted any more
  • Ask your friends, parents and family to get on board and support the campaign

What is happening in Sligo?

On Tuesday 1st October next, nearly 3,000 students are expected to flock to Sligo in support of one of the three Regional Protest Marches, which are being organised by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) as part of the “Fight for Your Future NOW” Campaign. Additional marches will take place in Cork and Dublin on the same day as part of this national day of action.

IT Sligo students will be joined by students from;

  • National University of Ireland, Galway,
  • Galway Mayo Institute of Technology,
  • GMIT Castlebar,
  • Athlone Institute of Technology,
  • St Angela’s College Sligo
  • Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

The students will link up at IT Sligo Students’ Union and march into Sligo town in a show of defiance in the wake of recent speculation regarding additional cuts to the maintenance grants in addition to the expected rise in the Student Contribution Fee.

Speaking at a meeting with the USI Border, Midlands and Western Area Officer Kevin Donoghue, IT Sligo Students’ Union President Paul Smith said;

“We as students understand that this country has a major debt on its shoulders, furthermore we understand that the Government has to make savings of approximately 3bn in the upcoming budget. I however as a representative for the students in IT Sligo, have to ask why are students being targeted with such a heavy burden?

Since 1996 we have seen 15 increases from the initial Student Service Charge of £190, to the Student Contribution Charge of €2250 in 2013 which is set to rise again this year by another €250. Tuesday the 1st of October is our day to send a very clear message to this Government that students in Ireland have a voice, that we will not be silenced, that we will prevail and that we are the future of this country.”

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