grants for graduates

Ken writes:

I had to take out student loans to pay for uni in New Zealand. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I support them for Ireland.

But I think the proposed €50 million savings by ending grants for post-graduate students will be wholly illusory because the maneuver will create as many costs again.

It bears repeating that graduate students, especially PhD students, provide a lot of skilled labour in teaching and research for universities. They are, in truth, not simply students but employees. This is an essential part of the education. It’s on-the-job-training not unlike an apprenticeship, and necessary to give young academics a taste of the career ahead of them.

Universities need graduate student labour to carry out research and provide undergraduate education. The proposed measure would almost certainly lead to a reduction in the numbers of graduate students in the system, so there will be critical shortages. This will have a knock on effect. Most likely, universities would have to take on auxiliary staff, people like me, to cover the slack, and we’d cost at least as much as students would and probably more.


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