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Tag Archives: USI

Students advised to seek grant

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has urged students who haven’t submitted their grant funding applications for the 2016/2017 academic year to do so immediately, as the deadline is this Friday. SUSI, the national student grant awarding body, opened its online application system on April 5 and has received 70,000 applications to date for the 2016/2017 academic year. “SUSI are expecting to receive about 110,000 applications for the 2016/2017 academic year.” Annie Hoey, USI president, said. “We are encouraging students who are considering applying for a grant to go to the SUSI website, www.susi.ie, as soon as possible, check the eligibility criteria and submit their application before the deadline. Students this year are in a better position to those in previous years, as they can find out if they are awarded grants before they receive their results and CAO offers, unlike previous years, where leaving cert students had to wait until late CAO offers and results came in before …

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USI offers advice on college choices

The Union of Students is advising students filling out their CAO forms on how to make the right course and college choice. The change of mind deadline is July 1 for the CAO choices and USI is encouraging second level students and mature students to think carefully before committing to a course. The SUSI online student grant application system for 2016/2017 is open on susi.ie “Some students choose courses for the wrong reasons, like if their friends are doing that course, or if it’s closest to home.” Kevin Donoghue, USI president said. “While these things will influence someone’s decision, they should not be the basis or a swaying factor for such an important decision which will have such a huge impact on their future. We would encourage students to follow their interests, strengths and passions, and study something in a field that interests or inspires them. “We are encouraging students to pursue what they love and are good at. Education …

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Student accommodation costs soar

The cost of accommodation for third level students is making the headlines once again. The Union of Students in Ireland said the unaffordable rental sector is forcing students out of college and is calling on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney and the Dáil’s committee on housing and homelessness, to consider the student accommodation crisis. Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick have seen an increase of up to 16% in the rental sector, according to the latest report by property website Daft.ie. Rents have gone over €1,000 a month nationwide for the first time since 2008. USI president, Kevin Donoghue, said the escalating cost of rent across Ireland is because of a chronic supply shortage and an increase in demand, which is forcing some students to commit to a lease they can’t afford, sleep on friends’ couches, live in poor quality accommodation or endure long commutes. “The lack of purpose-built on-campus accommodation, private sector rent increases and …

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Students deplore mental health cuts

The Union of Students in Ireland is calling on newly-appointed Minister for Health Simon Harris to reverse the diversion of €12 million from Mental Health Services announced by his predecessor. USI highlighted the dangers in a protest outside the Dáil. “Over 120,000 people took part in the Pieta House’s Darkness into Light walks last Saturday,” USI president, Kevin Donoghue, said. “The annually increasing numbers of people who come out in the early hours of the morning to support Pieta House’s Darkness into Light reflects how Irish people want mental health to be prioritised. The Government needs to prioritise mental health too. This diversion of funds will cost lives. It sends the message that mental health services can wait for funding, but it does not match the reality of the demand. It is an urgent problem at crisis point, requiring urgent action.” USI is calling on Simon Harris to reverse the diversion of the €12 million which was ring-fenced for Mental …

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J1 Visa guide launch

THE Union of Students in Ireland, with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and American Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, will launch the J1 Guide 2016 this Tuesday at Leinster House. Since its launch in 1966 the J-1 Summer Work Travel (SWT) programme has welcomed 150,000 Irish young people to the United States. “USI and the Department of Foreign Affairs have produced this latest guide to working and living in America under the J1 visa. It includes tips on staying safe and planning the J1 trip of a lifetime, while being a good ambassador for Ireland and showing the best example to American citizens of how Ireland is today,” Kevin Donoghue, USI president said. USI are advising students who want to take part in the J1 programme this year to sign up early so that they have time to organise a job in advance. The main Irish J1 agents are currently running placement programmes to help students secure a …

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Students’ union warning on ‘designer drugs’

THE Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has issued a warning to young people to stay away from the ‘designer drug’ 2CB after six people were hospitalised following its consumption at a house party in Cork. According to the 2015 National Student Drug Survey, 82% of students have at some point used illegal drugs. Ninety-four percent of the 2,701 people surveyed who said they have used drugs in their lifetime have shared drugs with another person. USI said that we need to acknowledge that drug use happens but the key to keeping young people safe is through education. “We need to recognise that drug use happens and young people experiment.” Kevin Donoghue, USI president, said. “We need to ensure that young people are being educated on the risks in a way that is relative to them. That is how we keep them safe – by arming them with information. “The ‘just say no’ campaign simply doesn’t work. Young people don’t …

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The young voter factor in election

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) launched their General Election manifesto today (Monday) outside the Dáil, emphasising how young people will have a deciding impact on the makeup of the next government. “The 32nd Dáil has the opportunity to introduce real and lasting change for all our citizens,” Kevin Donoghue, USI president, said. “100 years on from 1916 we can build an Ireland our children and our parents will be proud of. An Ireland where workers are paid the living wage, there is a right to full bodily autonomy and every person is treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Ireland has gone through significant change in the last five years. Austerity has taken its toll on almost every group in society. The impact of harsh and often brutal cuts must be accepted and those responsible must now ensure that it is our most vulnerable who see the fruits of our recovery. In the past two years …

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Student loan proposals ‘intimidating’

The new proposed loan scheme for students is overwhelmingly intimidating and will deter students from applying to college, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has claimed. College graduates could face loan repayments in the region of €25 a week over a 15-year period under major reforms to third-level funding proposed in a Government-commissioned report, according to the organisation. A draft report recommends the introduction of a new income-contingent loan system for graduates, increased maintenance grants for students from low income families and a greater contribution from both the State and employers. The findings are contained in a confidential 70-page draft report entitled Funding Irish Higher Education: A Virtuous Circle of Investment, Quality and Verification. USI said that an already broken loan system will only further fracture the structure of the Irish education system. “This would represent a real increase of €7,500 in fees for third level. It is unreasonable to think an increase in the current fee levels should be …

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