This year, overseas students are playing a more active role than ever within their student unions and are beginning to galvanise national disquiet about some of the difficulties they face… The spring conference of the National Union of Students was galvanised by the sight of six overseas students embarking on a hunger strike to draw attention to their cause and by an impassioned speech from Eugene [Arokiasamy] complaining that overseas students were being treated like cattle. Irish universities have hired a leading public relations firm to try to win more money from the Government and slow the flood of applicants from the Republic seeking places in British higher education. It is the second year running that there has been a precipitous increase in the number of applications from Irish students. The rise is due to a reciprocal agreement signed by Britain in 1986 to pay the full cost of university tuition for Common Market nationals.
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