Senator and former Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President, Lynn Ruane, said that she opposes the decision of College Board to introduce a €450 flat rate for supplemental exams and that she “completely” supports the “Take Back Trinity” campaign.
In correspondence with Trinity News, Ruane said that “students have had to bear the financial burden of college austerity for years through increased college fees, without even mentioning the pressures of the housing crisis and the rising cost of living”.
Ruane described Trinity’s proposed supplemental fees as “wholly disproportionate to the financial means of the average student” and the cost of holding supplemental exams. She said that the proposed charges will result in “financial hardship for Trinity students” and that this will “particularly” impact student retention amongst “lower income students”.
Ruane has contacted College Board to “express her concern” and she hopes that College “review and reverse the decision”.
On February 22, 80% of a valid pole of over 3,500 students voted against the introduction of supplemental fees. Prior to the vote, Vice Provost Chris Morash had told TCDSU Council that College were considering the introduction of supplemental exam fees at a rate of €230 per exam. However, on March 5, College announced that they were to introduce the €450 flat rate.
In a statement from TCDSU, the Union said that this decision is an “affront” to the Student Partnership Policy which was signed last year. The aim of the Policy is to increase engagement with students, and where students can collaborate with College on academic and non-academic policies. In response to the introduction of the fees, TCDSU launched the Take Back Trinity campaign yesterday, with over one hundred students protesting outside House One as the Finance Committee met.
Universities in Ireland charge various fees for supplemental exams. Dublin City University (DCU) charge a flat fee of €190 while University College Dublin (UCD) charge €230 per repeat with no cap on accumulating charges. In other cases universities charge per credits. University College Cork (UCC) charges €35 per 5 credit with a €245 cap, while National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUI Maynooth) charges €10 per credit with a €280 cap and a €50 minimum fee.
Trinity’s social media pages were flooded with one star reviews last night, as students from the Take Back Trinity campaign used official Facebook pages such as the Book of Kells, Trinity College Dublin International and Trinity’s gift shop to show their disapproval of the introduction of supplemental fees.
Additional reporting by Seana Davis
Correction 16.55pm 08/03/18: This article previously said DCU charge €190 per module repeat. It has been updated to reflect the fact that it is a flat fee.