Cork native Luke Field has announced that he will be seeking election to Seanad Éireann in the National University of Ireland constituency.
In his announcement, Field said: “I am running because I feel representatives for the NUI constituency should prioritise matters relating to education to a much greater extent. I feel very strongly that the parliamentarians who represent education interests need to prioritise this area above all others, particularly higher education given that they represent the NUI.”
Field’s experience as an undergraduate and post graduate student in University College Cork, a member of administrative staff in Trinity College Dublin, and as an academic tutor in University College Dublin has provided him with first-hand insight into the problems facing staff and students at all levels.
“I have seen students face increased costs and decreased supports, graduates applying for fewer and fewer entry-level jobs, and the increase of precarious working conditions for our third-level staff,” said Field.
“To adequately represent their constituency and help solve these problems, NUI Senators must enthusiastically make the case for education as a social good,” Field added.
Field also addressed the issue of higher education funding. “Broad questions like the funding model require dedicated representatives. While the sector is in need of much greater funding, some of the suggestions mooted recently such as a graduate tax or a student loan system are very worrying. A solution requires heaping toxic debt on students or incentivising graduates to emigrate is no solution at all,” he commented.
While Field has said that he will prioritise matters pertaining to education, he has also been outspoken on many issues during his years in politics. These include calling for the repeal of the 8th Amendment, supporting high-quality public services funded through a progressive tax system, and advocating much greener and environmentally-sustainable approaches to energy and economic activity.
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