Academic Registry has reported a 5% decrease in student registration as compared to September 2017. On September 20, completed student registration stood at 73%. This represents a fall of 5% from last year’s 78%. Although registration is higher than average among first year students at 90%, the remaining 10% of new undergraduate entrants had yet register for the upcoming academic year two weeks into the semester.
Speaking to Trinity News, Academic Registry explained the fall in registration as the result of “a cohort of 1,830 students who have been invited to register but have yet to start the registration process,” before asserting that they are “actively engaging with those students and encourages [sic] them to complete the registration process as soon as they can”.
Since Freshers’ Week, Trinity News has reported on the multiple issues students have experienced attempting to register for College. First year students have expressed numerous difficulties paying their student contribution fee through grant schemes and student loans and have had trouble accessing their mytcd portal as a result. Students have also criticised the “contact Academic Registry” feature of the mytcd portal as unresponsive.
Northern Irish students have also described difficulties trying to register at Trinity. Communication between College and Student Finance Northern Ireland has come under criticism as students report difficulties registering for college as their student contribution charge has not been paid. Students in receipt of maintenance loans will not receive living expenses or accomodation support until they are registered with Trinity. However, students cannot completely register with Trinity until they have paid at least part of their fees.
As a result, Northern Irish students in receipt of financial support need to contact the Academic Registry at the start of each academic year to manually remove their fees. Speaking to Trinity News, Senior Sophister Genetics student Maeve McCann noted that this “is a problem every year for all NI students”, adding that she was still awaiting a response from Academic Registry over a week after having submitted evidence of her financial status. “Why can’t Trinity liaise directly with Student Finance NI?” McCann asks.
Returning Erasmus students have also reported administration difficulties as the term begins. Carolanna Foley, a Senior Sophister History and Political Science student, is among students who could not access their grades from their year abroad as registration commenced. Foley also reported that her finances were displayed inaccurately on the Academic Registry website.