• Cllr. Daniel Whooley

Just Transition Greens Call for Review of 2020 Student Contribution Fees

The Just Transition Greens (JTGs) has called for a review of the payment of student contribution fees for the 2020–21 academic year, recognising the severe impact that COVID-19 has had on student and family incomes, as well as the potential difficulty for students to obtain part-time work in the months ahead.

The Just Transition Greens have also given their support of the Union of Students in Ireland’s (USI) campaign to reduce the mandatory student contribution by at least €500 for the coming academic year, through a €39.3 million increase in government investment in third level institutions.

Tate Donnelly, a Just Transition Greens member who is a current student, and stood for the Green Party in the 2020 General Election in Cavan-Monaghan, stated:

Tate Donnelly (@TateForTD)

"Many students and their families have had an extremely difficult number of months. With the number of people unemployed up substantially, and many people across the country struggling financially, a fee of €3000 brings to access to third-level education out of reach for so many, particularly as the change in income may not be reflected in SUSI’s eligibility criteria.”

Green Party policy, as well as the Program for Government, commits to developing a ‘long-term sustainable funding model for higher-level education’. There is an opportunity in these unprecedented times, according to the Just Transition Greens, to accelerate this movement, and to work towards reducing fees as outlined in Option1 of the Cassells Report.

Cllr. Daniel Whooley (@DanielWhooley)

Green Party Councillor for Ongar, and TU Dublin student, Cllr. Daniel Whooley added that

“many students will not be able to make up the cost of going to third-level education by working part-time this academic year. They may also face higher costs than in previous years for essential things to access their education, such as having to get a new laptop or to improve their internet connection in their home. Therefore, the government must reduce the cost of attending third-level education for the coming year by at least €500, as the USI have recommended, and continue to pursue a policy of reviewing and reducing fees over the coming years.”

In July the government announced extra support for students, a move welcomed by the Just Transition Greens. Representatives of the group noted the engagement from Minister Harris with students was encouraging and hoped the Department and the Minister would continue engaging with the needs of students over the coming weeks and months.

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