Today is budget day in Ireland and not surprisingly there have been spending cuts aplenty. One group that I have researched extensively and are often hard pressed to make ends meet are higher education students. In Budget 2012 it was announced that the student contribution would increase again by €250 for the academic year 2012/13. Also there will be changes to the fee and maintenance grants system for post-graduate studies for new entrants which currently benefits over 9,000 students. No maintenance grants will be paid for new entrants from the 2012/13 academic year.
Research conducted by myself as part of the Eurostudent survey IV indicated that already many students were hard pressed to cover costs of higher education. The Eurostudent research revealed that 39% of higher education students did not have sufficient funding in order to cover their monthly costs. Not surprisingly students from lower social class backgrounds had greatest difficulty covering monthly costs. When this was further examined less than half of students were satisfied with their financial wellbeing.