first_imgDeputy Pearse Doherty has criticised recommendations from the expert group examining third level funding which has suggested that a student loan system with the option of deferred payment be introduced for students to solve funding shortfalls in the sector.Reacting to the report, Deputy Doherty says that he is totally opposed to the reintroduction of fees for those attending third level institutions and has insisted that the proposals would have an adverse impact on students from across Donegal.Deputy Doherty said “The announcement today from the expert grouping set up to examine third level funding in which it has been recommended that a student loans system based on deferred payment be considered is something which I, and Sinn Féin as a whole, cannot support. “If these plans are introduced it will result in students who choose to study here being saddled with thousands of euro of debt before they even have had a chance to graduate.“What’s more is the fact that such proposals stand to disproportionately impact on students here in Donegal, where we have one of the highest numbers of students requiring student assistance grants in the state.“In fact, following the introduction of the SUSI Grant system in 2012, Donegal had the fourth highest number of students receiving Maintenance grants and one of highest number of students in receipt of grants to cover student fees, in third place only behind counties Dublin and Cork.“What these proposals in effect will mean is the return of student fees, and therefore education simply becomes yet another mere commodity, something to be bought and sold rather than it being a basic right. “The report however also highlights the gross failings of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour during their times in office for having repeatedly starved the third level sector of funding each year since 2008, and for having increased the student-staff ratio to well above the OECD average.“The fact is that this system will only serve to further embed the culture of privilege, class divide and inequality which are already all too real problems in Irish society today.“Sinn Féin believes that education is a fundamental human right, and one which no government has the authority or power to deny its citizens equal access. This is why my colleagues and I in Sinn Féin will strongly oppose any plans to increase the costs of education for students and their families both now and into the future.”STUDENT LOAN PLANS WILL SERIOUSLY IMPACT DONEGAL – DOHERTY was last modified: July 12th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Deputy Pearse Dohertydonegalloansstudentslast_img

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