Delegates at the Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) Congress have passed a motion put forward by Trinity representatives on supports for graduate entry medicine students.
USI is now mandated to lobby the government for increased financial support for students in graduate entry medicine courses.
The motion, which was put forward by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), passed by 98%.
TCDSU President Eoin Hand proposed the motion at Congress, with USI Deputy President Kevin McStravock also speaking in favour. No speakers came forward against the motion.
McStravock said that there has “never been a time where it is more suitable or more needed” for students to be “offered more supports than they are currently”.
He said that medicine as a career “should be one that’s open to everyone”.
Graduate Entry Medicine is currently offered in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI), University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC) and the University of Limerick (UL).
The motion passed this morning outlined that Congress “regrets the exorbitantly high tuition fees which range from €14,580 – €16,970 per year for these programs which are not supported by SUSI or HEA Free Fees”.
“These fees present a significant financial barrier to students from lower income backgrounds in accessing these programs while adding increased financial pressure on junior doctors graduating with large debt,” the motion stated.
“Congress also notes the motion recently passed by TCDSU Council for TCDSU to work with USI to lobby on this issue at a national level.”
“Congress recognises the recent protest by UCD students wherein 70% of the GEM students have withheld their fees in protest to year on year GEM tuition fee increases.”
In November, TCDSU Council voted in favour of a motion to lobby the government to increase financial support for graduate entry medicine students and for delegates sent to Congress to put forward motions to establish a nationwide USI campaign to lower their tuition fees.
Junior Sophister Physiology class representative Charles Sweeney proposed the motion at TCDSU Council.
Graduate entry medicine is an entry path into medicine for students holding a 2.1 in any Level 8 degree.
Trinity does not offer graduate entry medicine, but many Trinity graduates from biomedical sciences later pursue the course.
Hand seconded the motion at Council, where he said that the “fees are marginalising students who want to get into these programmes”.