Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has voted in favour of a motion to lobby relevant bodies to reconsider fees of up to €8000 and unpaid placements for some present and future Trinity pharmacy students.
Changes introduced to the pharmacy course would see students partaking in a five year course awarding a Master’s degree, with the fifth year not covered by the Free Fees criteria.
In addition, the new course would see students undertaking 12 months unpaid placement. Currently students undertake a nine month placement, the “majority of which is paid”.
The changes come after ongoing discussions between the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and the schools of Pharmacy in University College Cork (UCC), Trinity and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and would affect all students enrolled from 2015 onwards.
Senior Freshman Pharmacy class representative Niamh Loughlin put forward the motion, which was seconded by Claire O’Brown, fellow SF Pharmacy class rep.
Speaking on the motion, Loughlin said: “Previously the students were paid between €19000 and €22000 for the annual wage for working on the placement. That has now been taken away. Overall, it is a €25000 loss for new students.” Loughlin also noted: “Over a third of the students surveyed are on SUSI grants.”
Additional reporting by Niamh Lynch.