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TCD reverses plan to increase int’l fees

Trinity College Dublin has confirmed it will no longer increase fees for continuing non-EU and postgraduate students for the year 2018/19 and will reimburse those who have already paid amid backlash from students and threats of direct action by the students’ union in Ireland.

TCD in the heart of Dublin city centre. Photo: Unsplash

As many as 700 students will no longer be hit with a 5% hike in fees

The U-turn decision means as many as 700 students will no longer be hit with a 5% hike in fees, which could have amounted to an increase of €900 or more for one academic year.

“These students… have once again been let down by an out of touch administration”

According to a Facebook post, several postgraduate and continuing non-EU students had been in contact over concerns that their fees had been raised by 5%.

In response, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union released a statement claiming the increase was in breach of a fee certainty agreement reached with the College Board in March 2018 following a series of protests.

Describing the increase as “a complete betrayal”,  TCDSU president Shane De Rís said the college contended that the agreement did not apply to international students studying in the E3 Learning Foundry which includes natural sciences, engineering, and computer sciences, medicine and dentistry.

“These students have now seen their fees unexpectedly rise by 5%… and have once again been let down by an out of touch administration which completely disregards the impact of its decision on the lives of students,” De Rís said in a statement.

Union of Students in Ireland president Síona Cahill added that the move was “totally disrespectful”  and demonstrated “a complete lack of compassion or regard” for the wellbeing of the students.

However following a meeting between TCDSU, the Graduate Students’ Union and the college, a joint statement has been released explaining that the fee increases will no longer be implemented.

“Clarity was brought to the situation and the differences of interpretation of the agreements were discussed… This situation arose due to a difference of understanding and there wasn’t any malice on the part of [the] college,” the statement read.

Additionally, TCD has confirmed the decision, tweeting that any relevant payments would now be reimbursed.

Speaking to The University Times, De Rís said that the decision “shows the power and importance of the student voice”.

“We remain at the disposal of any students who were affected by this and seek further information on the issue,” he added.

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