Irish will emigrate to avoid study fees hike, warns country’s student union
Thousands of Irish students could be forced into
international relocation if the country’s colleges and universities impose big
registration fee rises, the country’s students’ union has warned.
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has reacted angrily
to the proposal, which is included in the Irish government’s four-year rescue
plan designed to tackle the country’s huge debts.
USI president Gary Redmond was reported in the Irish Examiner
newspaper as saying that the fees increase, along with proposed student grant
cuts, would represent a “double whammy” for all would-be students.
And he warned that the proposals would be “the final nail in
the coffin of the ‘smart economy’”.
Mr Redmond believes that, if they are forced into
international moving to complete their studies, many native Irish people would
not return, and he added: “Without an educated workforce, this country will
become an economic wasteland.”
But John Gormley, leader of the Irish Green Party, the
junior member of the country’s ruling coalition government, said the cuts were
necessary in order to safeguard the education budget for primary and secondary
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