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UL Plebiscite on Fees

category limerick | miscellaneous | feature author Thursday March 26, 2009 11:09author by UL F.E.E. Campaign - Free Education for Everyoneauthor email ulfightfees at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors


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Free Education for EVERYone

Today (Thursday) there is a vote of students in UL on fees. It arose from a proposal by the chairperson of UL Fianna Fail to make students vote on what kind of fees we want – which would have assisted the Student's Union to 'lobby' for that specific type of fees, instead of fighting to defeat all forms of fees. Student opposition, including from the UL branch of F.E.E. succeeded in getting a ‘no fees’ option 4 included, which reads: “I am opposed to alternatives to exchequer-funded third level tuition fees”,

UL F.E.E. have been the only ones campaigning on the vote, with everyone else focused on the SU officers elections. F.E.E. has been calling for a clear, "No to fees" vote - putting No Fees as your 'number 1' vote and not giving any vote, even a second preference, to the other pro-fees options.

F.E.E. argue that the other options (option 1 is a loan system & option 2 a graduate tax) deserve NO support from students, and should be completely rejected. Fees in any form will deny many access to education. They have also opposed option 3 (a levy on all workers) saying it is "is a regressive tax", and arguing that "supporting it wouldn’t appease this pro-fees government but would divide students from anti-fees staff and workers".

F.E.E. has also argued that, far from now winding down our campaign against fees, we need to be stepping it up to defeat the government's fees plans, and fight for free education funded through a progressive central taxation system.

For more go to the thread on the UL-SU forum: http://www.ulsu.ie/forum/index.php?topic=2296.0

The latest leaflet and poster used in the campaign by F.E.E. are attached.

Related Link: http://www.ulsu.ie/forum/index.php?topic=2296.0

PDF Document PDF of F.E.E. Leaflet 0.06 Mb

author by Birds Eye - raven looney party publication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 07:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The problem here is not being addressed properly , my thoughts are with you all ,of course you hope to become an integral part of society through
a higher level of education and good luck to you all BUT why ,when you become the professionel people ,whether you get free fee's or not , do a high %
go abroad ? Its just a thought ,no harm meant ....

author by UL FEEpublication date Fri Mar 27, 2009 21:49author email ulfightfees at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Total poll 2279

Spoilt votes 187

Valid poll 2092
Option 1 666 31.8%

A loan system, repayable at a future date, based on the future salary of each student reaching a certain level

Option 2 187 8.9%

A graduate tax whereby all graduates pay a premium percentage of their wage for the entirety of their working life

Option 3 152 7.3%

A levy on all income earners, regardless of attending a third level course i.e. an increase in general taxation

Option 4 1087 52.0%

I am opposed to alternatives to exchequer-funded third level tuition fees.

author by UCD FEEpublication date Mon Mar 30, 2009 08:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play guys, serious solidarity to the Limerick FEE! We know how hard it is fr you to oranise, especially with that brick wall of a union you guys have. A brilliant step in the right direction, and legitimizes our cause massively in UL! Heads high for FEE!

author by Ciaran - WSM - In APCpublication date Mon Mar 30, 2009 09:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all the FEE heads in Limerick, great result.

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fees should be re-introduced and means-tested, otherwise, it is the better-off who benefit most. Are the students really of the opinion that college should be free for all, including those who can afford it. This is not about helping the working-class to go to college, it is about perpetuating the status-quo.
Make the rich pay for the privilege, they have been subsidised enough at the poor's expense.
Fees should be fair and means tested.
There needs to be more of an effort to encourage the less-well-off to attend college to break the stagnant, boarding school, old boys syndrome here.
We need innovative people attending 3rd level.

author by FEE NUI Maynoothpublication date Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice one lads, thats a clear majority that can't be ignored. Well done on your efforts.

author by UL FEEpublication date Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The plebiscite result clearly mandates SU to actively fight fees. It is true that the motion was very unclear, and so it’s difficult to draw 100% true conclusions from the result. Students were asked, not for their ‘ideal situation’, as everyone, felt that would be a landslide for ‘No Fees’. Instead students were asked for their ‘second preference’, their ‘alternative’.

This was an attempt to get students to give a mandate to a ‘back-up’ second option, to make it easier to throw in the towel in the fight against fees, and instead lobby for that option. But when asked what our ‘second option’ is, 52% responded that there was no second option – fighting fees is our only option (Option 4). A further 7% agreed that third-level should be funded by the central taxation system, but added that there second option was that central taxes be increased across the board (Option 3). Whilst this is not the same as F.E.E.’s ‘tax the rich’ position, it is most definitely not student fees.

So there we have it: the SU’s only option is to fight fees to the end.

Incoming officers should take note: we must launch an uncompromising fight to defeat fees. This is what F.E.E. will campaign for, taking action ourselves as well as ensuring the SU fulfils it’s mandate. For students who want to help out or get involved, contact us on ulfightfees@gmail.com

Derek Daly ('asdf'), chairperson or UL-Ogre Fianna Fail, who instigated the referendum has claimed the referendum shows "that our alternative, when it eventually does come to it, is the loan system". See link for full post & response.

PS: Theorizing as to the fairest form of funding third level is useless at this point. The government have a clear plan to introduce fees, they've leaked most of it, and will publish it in the next days. It will be a loan system, with a discount of up to 20% if you pat the fees straight up, at the start of the year. That means the rich, who can afford to pay upfront, will pay 20% less. Now is the time to step up our fight to defeat the government's fees proposal, and fight for free education funded through progressive taxation that truly makes the rich pay.

Related Link: http://www.ulsu.ie/forum/index.php?topic=2296.0
author by Joseph - NUIG FEEpublication date Tue Mar 31, 2009 01:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play guys, we must keep it up, make sure to read Fine Gael's 3rd Way Document on Higher Education, it proves how full of shit they are also.

author by UL FEEpublication date Tue Mar 31, 2009 15:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ULSU has changed their site, to acces the forum and see the thread go to the address below. To move to any other page, click the link you want to go to, but then enter ".ul" between "ulsu" and ".ie" in the web address (i.e. change it from www.ulsu.ie to www.ulsu.ul.ie)

Won't last too long though. ULSU has decided to scrap the forum from their new website.

Related Link: http://www.ulsu.ul.ie/forum/index.php?topic=2296.0
author by UL Fees Potesterpublication date Wed May 27, 2009 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As someone who has taken part in many of the protests and having led 2 myself and being part of the students union also, I am happy with the result but did raise the point in the UGM that if we are doing this plebecite then does that mean we just throw in the towel and admit that we accept 'the next best option'? i think the reasioning behind Mr. Daly's proposal of such was somewhat ignorant of the students who are protesting and who this effects directly. he wanted to gague all ul students opinion BUT ALL STUDENTS DID NOT VOTE!. pesonally i felt that it wasted time and spat in a few peoples faces that this directly effects including my own! i will not face fees if they come in but i feel that the same treatment should be given to all - as in i've got through the system and enjoyed my college life i would hope the same for everyone else(and not a college life overshadowed by debt-which is already the case today!)

I would like to note also i understand the position of FEE but i feel somewhat opposite giving past events involving both the union and FEE- i understand the difficulty of fighting a cause head on while another group has a duty of care to adhere to..but within this, a structured organised group defense of 3rd level education is needed and not this divide(on both sides not just one!) that is the current situation.

I wish NO disrespect to either party but i think domestic squables and/or difference of opinion should not overshadow our main goal! The future of too many depends on it!(not to sound overly dramatic)

I am always against fees and would never agree to any other form of re-introduction. i will continue as i am doing today to fight such a re-introduction and hope that all can do what we can to stop this!

Cheers and good luck!

author by Galway Bay - Educationpublication date Mon Mar 29, 2010 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes mc I agree with you about fees and the rights of people to education

read you articles in Left Review and you make some very interesting points

Keep writing

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