A NUMBER OF demonstrations against any further cuts to student grants or increases in university fees are to take place across the country this week.
The Union of Students in Ireland says its pre-Budget campaign will escalate over the next five days with thousands expected at protest marches in Dublin, Dundalk and Sligo.
The rallies are a continuation of the ‘Fed Up? Stand Up’ campaign, which has included regional protests and public meetings about the cost of college and how it is pushing some young people out of education early.
“The events of the past week have illustrated why there’s an urgent need to escalate this campaign,” said USI president John Logue. “As tens of thousands of students wait on the first payment of their maintenance grant, thousands more current and prospective students are worried about €3,000 fees and grant cuts.
“Access to third level education is being curtailed at an alarming rate and students are turning out in huge numbers to impress the urgency of the situation on their local representatives. They’re not looking for handouts, just a hand up.”
Later today, students from UCD and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology will march on the constituency office of Eamon Gilmore. The USI say they are targeting the Tánaiste because both institutions are in his constituency and because as Labour leader, he pledged to preserve access to third level education before last year’s General Election.
From 12.30pm, students from St Angela’s College in Sligo will hold a demonstration outside the office of Fine Gael TD John Perry, while Dundalk students will march on the office of Peter Fitzpatrick.
Further demonstrations are being organised at Trinity College Dublin, DIT and NCI. They will take place later in the week.