Senator Praises Trinity Students' Campaign Against New Exam Fees

Senator Ivana Bacik has welcomed the success of the campaign being organised by the students to oppose the proposed imposition of a new fee for supplemental examinations within the College.

Trinity College Dublin is planning to introduce a €450 flat-fee for those who re-sit examinations.

The Labour Senator for Dublin University was speaking yesterday in the Front Square of Trinity College Dublin by invitation of the TCD Students’ Union at the conclusion of the students’ occupation of Trinity.

Senator Bacik said: “As a Senator for Dublin University, I welcome the students’ action in opposing this proposed new fee, which is also being opposed by academic and non-academic staff alike as well as students within Trinity."

She added: "This new fee proposal may be seen as representing an ongoing process of commodification of education, a process which is of concern to many of us and which is being opposed under the inclusive slogan ‘#TakeBackTrinity’.

"It is good to see the students taking a stand on this, and I will continue to support them in calling on the Trinity College Board to reconsider their decision and withdraw this new fee.”

Earlier in the week, Both Labour Party Education spokesperson, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD spoke out against the proposed introduction of new fees for supplemental repeat examinations at Trinity College Dublin.

Thomas Byrne pointed out: "This means that students who fail just one examination will be forced to shell out an exorbitant amount of money to allow them progress with their degree.

"This approach differs to other universities which have a more modest fee per repeat examination."

Labour Party Education spokesperson, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called on Trinity College Dublin to reverse the decision to introduce a fee of €450 to repeat exams.

Senator Ó Ríordáin said: “The outrageous decision by Trinity College Dublin to introduce a high fee of €450 to repeat exams will price many students out of college.

“The idea that students, who often need to repeat exams due to personal circumstances, will now have to pay a fee that is fifteen per cent of the annual college fees is ridiculous and may see many students drop out of college courses in TCD as a consequence"

He added: “Trinity College need to clarify immediately what the process was in place for making this decision, and what engagement took place with the student representatives. Was the Department of Education aware that this movement was afoot?

“From an institution that is capable of purchasing a €1.95 million apartment for their Provost who couldn’t handle noise during the Luas Cross City works, it is scandalous that students in a vulnerable position will now see these types of charges imposed on them.

“I fully support the students who are protesting today and the Minister for Education needs to engage with the college authorities and demand the reversal of this decision.”

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD said that Minister Bruton "needs to set out his view on this matter".

He added: I have concerns that the approach taken by TCD could be testing the waters for other universities to follow-suit. "It’s not acceptable that students who fail just one exam are being hit with punitive repeat fees."


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