TCDSU to lobby Dublin TDs for reduction in student contribution charge

The charge is currently paid by EU students at an annual cost of €3,000

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has adopted a new mandate to lobby politicians for a reduction in the student contribution charge following a vote at TCDSU Council this evening.

The union is now mandated to lobby Dublin TDs for a reduction in the student contribution charge, which currently stands at €3,000 per year.

Additionally, the TCDSU President is to establish a petition addressed to Provost Patrick Prendergast and Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris that calls for the charge to be reduced.

Speaking to Trinity News, Senior Fresh Physical Sciences class representative Dillon Broaders, who proposed the motion, said that students want to see the union take action against the high cost of the contribution charge.

“TCDSU must assert itself and condemn this,” Broaders said. 

“TCDSU cannot stay silent. Trinity students want to see their union take decisive action,” he said. 

“This motion provides a counter punch to the hit that Trinity students have taken this year.”

Speaking to Council during his proposal of the motion, Broaders stated that it was “immoral” to be still charging the same amount of fees to students, as many had been “worsening financial difficulties” because of Covid-19. 

TCDSU President Eoin Hand urged members to vote in favor of the motion.

The motion was seconded by Senior Fresh Theoretical Physics class representative Ruaidhrí Campion. 

Most EU students are eligible for the Free Fees Initiative, under which the government covers the cost of students’ tuition fees. 

BESS Convener Shore Oluborode also spoke in favor of the motion, stating that it was “unjust” to expect students to pay the same fees this year.  

Students availing of the Free Fees Initiative pay an annual student contribution charge of €3,000.

For 2020/21, tuition fees for undergraduate EU students range from around €2,681 for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) courses to €5,371 for some Health Sciences (HS) courses.

The Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) has long called for a €500 reduction to the student contribution charge and for the residence criteria of the Free Fees Initiative to be eliminated.

The reduction would cost the government €39.3 million.

TCDSU Council took place this evening over a Zoom call.

Additional reporting by Kate Henshaw and Connie Roughan.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland is the current Editor of Trinity News. She was an English Literature and Sociology student, and formerly served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.