News Editor/Deputy Editor
Details of the upcoming December 7th budget have been announced today, and include among their number a variety of hits to the education sector. Among the resulting cuts and charges the Student Services Charge (commonly referred to as the Registration Fee) will be increased by €500 to €2000 next year. The Higher Education Grant budget will see savings of €51 million, but the impact of this per student was not revealed.
UCC Students’ Union Deputy President Daithi Linnane said of the announced changes to the education budget; “The announcement today highlights more of the deceit that we have seen from the government over the past week. We have been told that there will be a change in the Student Services Charge, but with no information on how this will be done, other than that it will rise by €500. On top of this, students in the most difficulty, those on grants, have been targeted will face an unspecified cutback. While the government may be holding back information, the facts remain that any increase in the fee means more money coming out of the wallets of students and their parents, and less students being able to afford the opportunity of education.”
The registration fee increase is €1,000 less than was initially feared, with the Green Party stating their opposition to this level of increase after the November 3rd student protest in Dublin. The Union of Students in Ireland feel the Student Support Bill, finally prepared for implementation last week, will save the education sector €5 million Euro next year which it hopes will offset some of the grant cuts.
Full coverage of this story and much more in the next issue of the UCC Express.