Wednesday, February 04, 2009

No to third level fees - 365

I WAS at the 'No to third level fees' protest this afternoon, while I have more pics which I will process tomorrow and post but for now this is my 365. I'll come to back to third level fees in the next post.

no to third level fees

8 comments:

laura said...

Considering how messed up the public finances are, I think re-introducing third level fees is a good idea. No third level fees is a privilege not enjoyed in some of the wealthiest countries in the world. Ireland can't live beyond its means, would you rather your daughter paid third level fees for a couple of years or the rest of her life paying much higher taxes. What is wrong with people in Ireland? We don't even think we should pay for water. It is insane.

Red Mum said...

Considering I lose the children's allowance when she is 17, considering that I am probably subject to the pensions levy and all the other extras on us all now, I do not know how I will afford college.

I have no savings, not because of an extravagant lifestyle, far from it, but because I have spent most of my working life in jobs that were not well paid.

So Laura I am fiercely opposed to third-level fees, I believe our education system should be accessible to all not just those who can afford it. College is expensive enough without fees on top it.

I'm the one who would have to try and find the money not my daughter, and I want for her to actually get to college.

Ailbhe said...

The photos are gorgeous and I love the 365 projesct. Snow and daffodils and politics - yes. Keep going!

laura said...

The pensions levy isn't a good enough reason for not having third level fees. As a private sector worker with no guaranteed pension, I am delighted that the public sector are going to be asked to contribute something to their own pensions like the rest of us have to!
Re-introducing third level fees could be done in such a way that they are means tested or it may be that the government introduces a loans for fees policy, where you can borrow your money and repay it after college at a nominal interest rate. Given a choice between graduating with some debt or paying much higher taxes for the rest of my working life so that everyone can have their levyless pensions, I know I'd prefer some short term debt! :-)

Red Mum said...

Laura I am not saying the pensions levy is a reason against third level fees, rather participation in third level education is my reason against the introduction of fees. You just brought up the fact that people think everything should be free, which I don't btw, but education should be free, which it is not, none of it is.

If third level fees came in, it will hit hard. Given all the other increases this will be harder.

The registration fee alone is outrageous representing a massive proportion of most people's monthly income, never mind the day to day costs of college. I do not know how I'll do it.

Incidentally I am a contract worker, semi-state, with no pension and the pensions levy looming over me with all the increases we are all already dealing with. Unlike many in the private sector I never earned big money, never enough to put some aside, even never enough to last beyond week one of my monthly salary. As a result I have long-term debts from trying to pay bills and put food on the table.

Second level education, allegedly free, has broken me at times, and I cannot imagine how others worse off have coped. My own college course cost a fortune and as it was I was at a disadvantage to those who had money in the class, add fees to that and well.

My point in this, is that I am afraid that fees if introduced will mean we might have some tough choices when it comes to college for my daughter.

laura said...

RedMum, I sympathise with your situation, but your apparent belief that everyone in the private sector earns big money seems mis-guided to me. There are many in the private sector who are not highly paid. Consider the average industrial wage, taken from the private sector or has the Government started manufacturing?

If you are as financially strapped as you say you are then perhaps if means testing is introduced with any reintroduction of fees you can get a grant?

No offence, but you don't appear as poverty stricken as you claim to be and your daughter definitely can help contribute to her own education and she can also help by choosing a course in Dublin so that she can continue to live at home. I worked part time jobs in college so that I wouldn't have to ask my parents for pocket money. I am sure that if I found jobs in pre-celtic tiger Ireland, todays generation of teens will be able to.

You say primary and secondary level education isn't free - what are you honestly expecting, it sounds like you think that books and school uniforms should be available for free!

I'm not totally au-fait with current college fees, but the last time I looked at them, they were hugely subsidised for EU citizens. They are no where near as high as fees in the US for example. Registration fees and full college fees I last paid in 2005 and they were not outrageous. I did a second degree and had to pay for it myself, with no tax relief because I already had one. Your daughters hypothetical fees would qualify for tax relief.

You say you cannot pay all the fees yourself. Why should you? Is your daughter too incapacitated to spend her summers and part of the college year working to contribute to her own fees and upkeep? Then there is the fact that banks are often happy to lend money to undergrads, repayable when you get your first job.

My parents generation had to pay college fees for all of us. (my age group and older, fees were abolished while I was in college). That generation survived on only one income, they didn't have digital cameras and weekends away in Cork for blog awards. :-) They like many others with several children to send to college sacrificed a lot. My grandmother sent my mother to boarding school in the 1950s and college in the 1960s. She was a widow responsible for earning her own income!

The burden of your daughters education isn't entirely on your shoulders, it is also on hers. I don't know anything about your daughter, but she shouldn't expect you to pay for everything in college for her. She can get a job to help you out. Many of us did that. I did that to earn my own pocket money from the summer of fifth year.

Red Mum said...

Laura firstly if anything I've said read that I believe everyone in the private sector to be well paid, I don't, far from it. I said many, and I will take on board that is probably generalising more than I meant too.

I was trying to say that I have never had a high salaried position, like many of us I have worked long to get to even the level I am at now.

I do not claim to be poverty stricken, I've been there in the not too distant past, but I am not now. I am lucky to have what I have. Running a household on my salary is not easy, and I have large enough debts to prove it.

Long before all this hit my daughter had the notion of studying away, I have already blogged before about how that decision was made a long time ago, she will be at home.

Her contribution to her education is to study, her own pocket money she'll have to earn. But at no stage do I want her working more than she should, her studying should always come first.

Anyway have you seen the job market? A colleague was saying to me that his student son has not been able to get work, but he is still looking.

I will repeat primary and secondary education should be free, there is a notion it is free, but it is far from that. Again I have blogged about the cost of sending her to secondary school, 1200 euro five years ago. Theres no shopping around for uniforms, it is one shop and that is it. Books are updated each year and schools won't allow previous editions, between books, uniform, fees that are not called fees but voluntary contributions, locker rental (125 euro again blogged before)and more, secondary education is expensive.

If you don't find that shocking, we will just have to agree to differ.

At least I knew, as bad money management as it is, I could and did, put some of it on a credit card as I just didn't have it. Again I am not claiming poverty but unexpected couple of hundred euro is not something I have ever been able to easily put my hand on.

But what about the people who have a couple of kids going through the system, what about people who are stuggling to run a household on low incomes? How they do that I don't know, there are problems there on so many levels. Education should be free.

While you put a smiley face after your comment about digital cameras and weekends away, wow what a dig. Just so you know my work owns my camera, I still call it my camera, because it is (they will to prise it from my hands), but my work paid for it as photography has become part of my job brief. The weekend away in Cork is part of my mum's birthday present (her birthday was on Monday). Our flights down have cost 60 euro for us all (thanks Ellybabes for telling us about the ryanair voucher booking being cheaper) and we are splashing out on the hotel and the three of us are in one room. We have never done this before and its great. Not that I have to explain my expenditure here. I don't but given the comments I feel compelled too.

We don't go out much at all, I don't buy clothes except when I really have to so and I feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever for splashing out this weekend. Again not that I have to explain myself or lifestyle at all. You will probably see me blogging in the future about getting a new camera and again it will be work getting and actually owning the camera.

I probably should get out more because you have no idea the level of excitement around taking my mum and daughter away to the blog awards weekend has been huge.

I suppose I would just address a lot of the other stuff you are saying by adding that just because things/life have/has been a certain way in the past does not mean they were right.

I will also add that I have never expected a handout in my life (LOL heartily at the notion of there even being any), I have expected however that when you work hard it wouldn't be as difficult as it can be.

But given where we are at the end of the day, I am working, in a good job with probably more security than many others have and I am wholly grateful for that. And somehow between the two of us my daughter will go to college. I am lucky to be able to say that, there are others who cannot. That is a disgrace.

Education should be free.

I think we are just going to have to agree to differ.

laura said...

Education should be free?

So what you would like is free school places, free books, free uniforms, free school lunches, free bus fares if the school is too far to walk to, free exchange trips, free laptops if teachers decide every child needs one. (This is just first and second level). Then in third level, free exams, free lab costs, free laptops again, free text books, free tranport to university, free accomodation if you are from outside a university catchment area, free repeat exam fees, free registry fees, free college application frees.

Where do you draw the line at what should or should not be free? I honestly think you are being extremely unrealistic.

The blog award trip was not a dig, really it wasn't, what I was trying to say is that todays generation seem to me to be very demanding. We have much more disposal income than previous generations have. We enjoy a better lifestyle. We expect a lot more for free. Look at the one shoe fits all grievance matters strike at the weekend.

Honestly, tell people paying 800 to 1000 euro a month in creche fees for one two or three small children that you think third level should be free and they will give a wry smile and say "after creche fees, third level fees will be a walk in the park".

I'll comment no more because we clearly disagree and I wish your daughter every success in her future and hope she gets to college, with or without the fees.