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The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) stands in solidarity with postgraduate and non-EU students in Trinity College Dublin, after confirmation that fees will rise by an arbitrary 5% by college management. Both Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) oppose the move, recognising the serious impact that this will have on the wellbeing and finances of the students affected. USI, which represents 374,000 students and students from TCD, is determined to campaign alongside these unions to reverse this hike.

Michael Kerrigan, USI President, said,

‘Two weeks after the Government largely ignored the plight of students across the country in Budget 2018, we have yet another example of the unfairness and inequality at the heart of higher education in Ireland. With the increase in rent in Dublin, and supports for post-graduates being left aside, this fee hike is an attempt to pinch money straight from students’ pockets.

Mr Kerrigan went on to say,

‘As USI campaigns for grant restoration and publicly funded Higher Education, we will not leave any student behind. We will stand with the students of Trinity, and indeed across the country, as they face down this threat to their future, and encourage all students to stand with them too.”

‘A hike in fees of this magnitude is absolutely unacceptable.’, President of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union, Kevin Keane said. It demonstrates that management are detached from the reality students face, and the attitude that cash is king; that students will find the money to pay for their education no matter the burden. We are more than a commercial entity, and if we want to be a top institution of learning, we must not lose sight of that.”

President of the Graduate Students’ Union at Trinity, Shane Collins, said that

‘The level of increase at 5% for multi-year students is something we cannot accept. We will continue to work with internal and external bodies on this matter, but aside from the gaping hole in higher education funding, there is absolutely no other justification to students for this. Postgraduates did not create this mess, yet for years we’ve been asked to clean it up.

‘HEIs need to bond together on this matter, be it via IUA or other entities and stand in solidarity with their students, rather than place them in these uncertain and stressful situations. There is also nothing here in TCD stopping the College from increasing fees by 20% or even higher, with current students having no guarantee that this situation will not deteriorate further for them.

‘This is simply not good enough and it is disingenuous to continue such a volatile practice.’

 

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