Student Concerns in Budget 2014

student_fees_protest_dublin01Transportation
With the accommodation crisis of the summer, many students were forced to move miles away from colleges. The Cost of transportation therefore is a concern. Most students spend on average of €5 a day on the bus or luas. The other aspect of course is students who travel from different provinces and must spend on the train and bus costs. Margaret from Cork had this to say,
“I work on the weekends and have to travel up on Sunday evenings. A train ticket is €25.20 return which I pay every week, on top of my bus tickets and taxi costs on nights out. Basically it costs me the bones of €70 a week purely on getting from A to B.”

Fees
Tuition fees are raising an estimated fee of €250 for 2014/2015 which could indicate the end of any form of free education for a long time to come.

Maintenance Grant
The maintenance grant is roughly €6000 a year which many feel is too high. This could certainly be up for discussion at the Dáil today and students should take note of what results occur from this particular topic. Speaking to a respect member of the student services staff I was provided with an opinion that the fee in which certain students receive for their grants can be, “border-line ridiculous” he added that,

“In my day, college was not an option. We couldn’t afford it and that was that. I now see that young people, regardless of their incomes can receive grants which can help them in their education. I do however feel that the figure they receive is far more than what is needed.”

Cigarettes and Alcohol

Cigarettes and alcohol are two very popular aspects of student life. The reaction of students to the news of the rise in both of these will surely create a talking point. Speaking to Alan and Tom from Dublin they provided two different outlooks on the topic of the rise.

Alan said,

“Ah jaysus, you’re not serious? I don’t make a lot of it to be honest!”

Tom however had a different take on it,

“It might be a good thing; it may help the state of health in the country and maybe encourage people not to spend so much money on fags and drink.”

Both arguments certainly make sense and it was nice to see some form of a debate taking place on campus.

Darragh Collins

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