For decades, Students’ Unions across the country have been warning governments that student housing was on the brink of crisis. Years later, over 93% of student accommodation is over €800 a month and Galway has ten times as many short term tourist lets than homes available to rent on Daft.ie. The student contribution fee was €800 back in 2008, but for this generation of students it is €3,000. That is a 364% increase in just over a decade, and currently stands at the highest student fees in the whole of the EU. This is no Ireland for young people. Continuous government have time and time again failed our students, who are the future of this island. The reality is that we all know someone who has had to drop out due to the cost of college, who has had to sleep in a hostel or on their friends sofa, or who has had to go without food in order to pay their rent. This is the government trying to price working class families out of education and make higher education for only those who can afford it. All of the inequalities that exist in higher education were exasperated throughout this pandemic, but we never got to take to the streets. Well, now is the time.
The USI have organised a fees protest for Galway City which is happening at 2pm on the 24th November. If these statistics anger you, we are asking you to join us. The Students’ Union will be leaving campus at 1.30 from Áras na Mac Léinn, and whether you are an international student, a student nurse/midwife, or any student who is angry at the way we have been neglected; we are asking you to join us, have your voice heard, and show this government that enough is enough.