The Union of Students in Ireland has elected Joe O'Connor as president for the 2013/14 academic year.

He was elected unopposed at the USI annual conference in Ballinasloe this morning.

Mr O'Connor has been active in student politics and has served as president of GMIT Students' Union.

He said his priority will be to protect higher education during his term of office.

Mr O'Connor is also calling for greater action to tackle graduate unemployment and said it is not acceptable that hundreds of students have no option but to emigrate.

Mr O'Connor will begin his tenure on 1 July.