The Workers’ Party have said that any further increase in third level registration charges would further erode the access of working class students to further education and make universities here the exclusive preserve of the wealthy.
Workers’ Party Education spokeswoman Mary Diskin said that registration charges already amounted to a partial reintroduction of fees and that the proposed doubling of them, or any increase in them for that matter, would raise the class barrier in third level education.
“It is quite clear that the government sees third level registration fees as a money making device. It has nothing to do with providing better quality education or funding universities. It is simply a cash collection device to help the government raise the billions it has committed to bailing out the banks”.
“We already have a grossly uneven playing field as regards access for working class school leaver to further education. Time after time statistics have shown that those from disadvantaged areas do not go to university, not because they do not want to or because they lack the ability, but purely and simply because their families cannot afford to send them. This is gross discrimination”, said Ms. Diskin.
“In addition to fees we have a suggestion of making the Means Test for student grants even more Draconian than it already is. This will bar entry to university for thousands of more young people and the option of PLC courses is also being taken away from them due to cutbacks in that sector and proposals for fees there too.
Issued 3rd November 2010