Senators David Norris and Ivana Bacik have criticised Trinity’s decision to introduce supplemental exam charges with a flat fee of €450.
Speaking to Trinity News, Norris said that he thinks that the fees are “considerable overcharging”. Norris continued by stating: “In my view Trinity is completely out of sync with other universities”.
In an email correspondence with Trinity News, a spokesperson for Norris added: “David has heard that the academic staff will not be earning any money from the supplementary fee and that the majority of the academic staff are against it.”
In a separate interview, Bacik stated her concern with Trinity’s decision a flat fee of €450 and offered her support to Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) campaign to oppose the fee. She continued: “I also intend to raise it in the Seanad and with the Minister for Education.”
On February 22, 82% of a valid pole of 3,504 students voted against the introduction of supplemental fees in a preferendum held by TCDSU. 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 €200 per exam with a cap at €1000. However, on March 5, College announced that they were to introduce the €450 flat rate.
Senator Lynn Ruane, a former President of TCDSU, has also condemned the fees. Speaking to Trinity News, Ruane said the fees were “wholly disproportionate to the financial means of the average student”.
TCDSU has already organised a number of actions in protest against the fees. Earlier this week, around 100 students protested outside a meeting of College’s Finance Committee.
This afternoon, students have blocked Front Gate and set up a picket outside the Book of Kells, which followed a flooding of one star reviews on official Trinity social media. The Facebook pages of the Book of Kells and Trinity College Dublin Global, were targeted in the online protest. The reviews were later deleted.
A statement from the Take Back Trinity campaign, organised by the SU and students, said: “Trinity’s decision to introduce supplemental exam fees is evidence of their continuing disregard for students, their opinions, and their welfare.”
Additional reporting by Seana Davis and Rory O’Neill