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Students are being priced out of Third Level Education – Senator Paul Gavan

7 March, 2018 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Education in the Seanad, Senator Paul Gavan, has spoken out against the decision by Trinity College Dublin to introduce a supplement exam fee of €450.

Senator Gavan, has called on the University to reverse their decision in the best interests of those students already struggling to financially survive Third Level Education.

Speaking in the Seanad this morning, Senator Gavan said:

“The decision taken on Monday by the board of Trinity College Dublin to introduce a flat fee of €450 for supplemental exams must be reversed.

"The introduction of supplemental fees was always going to cause outrage, but I don’t believe anyone could have expected the outrageous figure of €450.

"To put this into context UCD charges €230 per exam, while UCC cap it at €245 - regardless of how many you must sit.

"The reason why some students already fail their exams is often down to financial uncertainty and instability in their own life, as they juggle long hours in part time jobs.

"This is a cruel addition of further pressure put upon these students.

"The introduction of this charge will disproportionately affect those students who are already most at risk of dropping out for financial reasons.

"When you consider that Ireland has the second highest Third Level Education fees in Europe, and students are forking out over 10k for accommodation during the year. These new financial costs will price more and more students out of an education.

"This decision was also taken against the will of the Students Union. In a preferendum held this year, 80% of students voted to oppose supplemental fees. 

"Their voices have been ignored. They have been disrespected. All in the name of money and profit.

"I understand that the SU is now considering strike action, boycotting services, protesting in front arch, and potentially starving the college of revenue by having a sit-in, in the books of Kells. 

"They have my full support in whichever action they take.

"Education is supposed to be a public good. Trinity is a public university, and as such its actions should be subject to questioning.

"This behaviour is unacceptable. What has the Minister and state to say on this subject?”

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