Gwen Duffy, Micheál Callaghan and Martha Dalton - Students
At the moment I don’t have time to have a job because of the hours involved in my course but I guess if fees came in I’d have to get one. I’d have to fit it in because my parents are paying at the moment but if they had to pay any more it would be a huge pressure on them. It’s very difficult.
Our parents didn’t put money aside for college fees, because there weren’t any. So if it was brought in now they wouldn’t have the money set aside for it. It must be difficult for families that have two or three students going to college at the same time. Some parents are unemployed are have cut backs it must be very, very tough.
People think you just pay for your books and that’s it - you get your college education for free, but actually there’s so much more involved than just the basics. It’s a real struggle as it is never mind introducing fees of €5,000 or €6,000.
I don’t think people realize the pressure that’s on students and their families when they go to college. It’s a big expense on my parents mainly and if fees came in it would be a real struggle. I’m the youngest in my family but I know over the years my parents have had to budget carefully for the education of my siblings. It’s a privilege to be able to have an education. I think introducing fees would really damage the country and damage the economy.
I’m working 20-25 hours a week on top of dissertations at the moment - it’s a lot of work but it would be a lot more difficult if we had to pay fees on top of what we have to pay now. My sister and I are in college at the same time and I can’t imagine what we would have to do if we had full fees. It would be next to impossible to go.
We are both studying in Dublin but we’re in two different universities and staying in two separate accommodations. There are hidden costs. People don’t necessarily think about that.