The Union of Students in Ireland will register an estimated 10,000 new third level students to vote across 24 Irish campuses tomorrow (Tuesday).
USI’s campaign, Education Is aims to educate, empower and register students to vote in the upcoming General Election, focusing on which parties will increase student support such as grants, student assistance funds and accommodation.
Education Is follows the success of the student voter registration campaign before the marriage equality referendum, which registered 27,633 new voters. The National Day of Voter Registration’s official hashtag is #RockTheRegister.
“One sixth of people living below the poverty line are students,” USI president, Kevin Donoghue said. “The new students we are registering to vote will be voting for politicians who have their educational interests in mind. The cost of living for students is €11,000 per year, which means college courses can cost between €33,000 and €77,000. Government investment in third level education dropped from over €1.6bn in 2005 to €939m in 2014. We are calling on the Government to increase funding and accommodation for students, and reduce the registration fee of €3,000.”
The Education Is campaign aims to empower students to vote for politicians who will represent their needs and work to help relieve the financial burden of education.
“Education shouldn’t be a privilege for those who can afford it.” Mr Donoghue said. “It should be a right for everyone. Students will vote for politicians who fight for this right.