Union hit back, urge students to action in face of fee rise

“It is so disappointing that the College is attempting to turn its own students against each other,” the union said

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) have urged students to join in a full-day protest targeting “the university’s reputation and finances” in the face of proposed fee increases.

Union President László Molnárfi advised students on social media to wear masks to protect their identity following threats from the junior dean that participating students would be fined.

The union hit back at a College-wide email from Provost Linda Doyle, in which she attempted to stir opposition to the union among students.

In response, TCDSU said it was “so disappointing that the College is attempting to turn its own students against each other, and its own union”.

“This represents an escalation by university management against its own students. It also represents an escalation against its own staff, many of whom will not agree with this.”

TCDSU is mounting opposition against a proposal to increase single-year masters’ fees across the board by 2.3% along with increases up to 10% for certain masters’ programmes and non-EU courses for the 2025/2026 academic year.

They highlighted that this is despite a promise by the provost during her election campaign that she would not increase fees, specifically highlighting postgraduate fees as being damaging to the diversity of our academic community.

“This will be the second time that she has broken the sanctity of an election promise, having increased multi-annual non-EU and postgraduate programme fees by 10% over 4 years in 2021-2022,” the union further highlighted.

The union advised students to assemble at House Six at 9.30am tomorrow “for a day-long direct action that will target the university’s reputation and finances”.

“We have seen the power that direct action holds when we secured the rent freeze following a blockade of the Book of Kells as well as changing the policy in the Buttery to allow students to eat their own food and so our union was planning on taking similar action when it came to fees.”

It continued: “It is only natural for a union, such as ours, to escalate its actions when students’ pleas go ignored – our polite correspondence, meetings and petitions have been met with silence.”

In order not to disrupt students preparing for exams, the protest will be “completely silent” with no megaphones or chants.

TCDSU urged students who cannot attend the protest to join in a “social media storm” against the fee increase by tweeting #RipOffTCD. An in-person event to this end will take place in the Swift Theatre from 10am-12pm.

Since this evening’s public email exchange the union has seen an uptick in new members joining its campaigns group which members and officers have been sharing on social media, urging students to join.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is the current Social Media and Managing Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as News Editor, Assistant News Editor and copyeditor.