Students outline big issues for them in the general election

USI says young people will have a deciding impact on the next government

USI, general election, students, issues, accommodation, repeal the 8th, Kevin Donoghue

Pictured (l-r): Colm O'Neill (LU na Gaeilge), Annie Hoey (USI Deputy President), Kevin Donogue (USI President) and Cian Power (VP South) | Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Accommodation, higher education funding and repealing the 8th amendment are the big issues for students in the upcoming election.

That is according to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), who launched their election manifesto this afternoon.

They say they have registered 80,000 students to vote in the upcoming election - and that young people will have a significant say in who forms the next government.

The manifesto also focuses on student accommodation and is urging the next government to prepare a further short-term solution, such as the use of NAMA-owned properties to temporarily address the student accommodation shortfall.

USI Deputy President Annie Hoey said: "Young people want candidates and political parties to demonstrate leadership that befits the positions they seek and to map out a clear path to a strong, sustainable future".

"Education from early years to post-doctorate is not just a right but key to economic growth. As a nation we are particularly reliant on a highly educated workforce for growth".

"An educated society is a major attraction for foreign direct investment coming into Ireland. A highly skilled and well-educated workforce is a benefit to everyone in Ireland. The next Government should seek to follow the example of most of our EU partners and introduce free, publicly-funded education", she added.

USI President Kevin Donoghue says after Ruairi Quinn's broken promises to students in 2011, they will be wary of election time commitments.

Live from @ElectionNT