Over 15% of students consider leaving college due to cost of living

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Galway Daily news 30 percent of University of Galway graduates got first class honours this year

Nearly one in six third level students have ‘seriously considered’ withdrawing from their courses due to financial or employment reasons, the latest National Survey For Students has found.

Almost 10% of students surveyed said they have considered leaving for financial reasons, while a further 5.3% said that they have thought about it because of employment.

Overall, just 63.4% of students said they have not ‘seriously considered’ abandoning their courses.

Over 13% of those who said that they have considered it said that it related to personal or family reasons.

Postgraduate representative of University of Galway’s governing authority Criodán Ó Murchú said that the statistics show us the unfortunate reality that students are feeling the brunt of the cost of living crisis.

He said that almost 10% of students seriously considering withdrawing due to financial concerns shows that the situation is not sustainable for much longer.

“This will further add to the current plight of mental health issues affecting students in University of Galway, of which there are huge numbers.”

Mr Ó Murchú said students are no longer working at weekends for pocket money, and that they are working multiple days, before and after their lectures, just to scrape by.

“On top of that you have highly skilled PhD workers being paid far less than a living wage for their work. This could be counteracted using surplus budgetary funds to pay its workers fairly,” he said.

On potential solutions to the issue Mr Ó Murchú suggested rent freezes, increasing SUSI thresholds, breakfast provided by the university and abolishing fees.

“Nothing should be off the cards with how desperate the situation is. We need the government to recognise the value students inject into society and their communities. Otherwise, emigration will move from idea to reality.”