Students are getting a rough time of it lately. Between grant delays, grant cuts, and registration fee hikes, it’s clear that for many, the days of Mammy, Daddy and the local Council bankrolling a plush college lifestyle are gone. Reports in two separate newspapers recently showed how some third-level students are often forced to live on just €5 a day and therefore are not eating properly. Others are living in arctic conditions because heating is too much of a luxury.
However, it appears that Limerick’s main third level institutions might be escaping the worst of the knock-on effects of the cuts so far, with increases being reported in the numbers of enrolments of full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students. Figures from the Higher Education Authority with regard to enrolments of courses at the University of Limerick (UL), Mary Immaculate College (Mary I) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) have shown a steady increase in recent years. Between the academic years of 2007/2008 and 2011/2012, the number of enrolments of full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students at UL rose from 8,800 to 10,267. In LIT the numbers jumped from 3,260 to 4,724. Mary I, meanwhile had an increase from 2,814 to 2,850.