Nov 25, 2009

College and government sting students

The front page story of issue one, volume one of the University Record called out both College and the government over a £100 rise in the student registration fee. Since the introduction of the registration fee, intended to cover student services, registration costs and examination costs, it has risen year after year.

At the time this article was printed Trinity’s Bursar claimed that these services “always cost £300”. The continued rise in the registration fee has caused controversy since this article was printed and still is. See pages one and seven to read more about the registration fee today.


Students are being forced to pay a £300 charge for student services without seeing ANY of the money going to student run services.

The fee was £150 last year but in July the Minister for Education allowed colleges to charge an additional £100. Trinity students voted in a referendum in May to pay £50 a year for a new sports hall, a fee which is now due. The total is £300.

And neither College nor the government will accept full responsibility for the new levy.

According to SU President Dave Moore, Bursar PJ Drudy blames government underfunding for the charge, claiming that the Department of Education is forcing College’s hand in charging the fee.

Yet according to Peter McDonagh, adviser to the Minister, the Department of Education only introduced the fee at the demand of the Universities and the charge is optional. Universities do not have to charge the full amount, and NCIR in Dublin are not raising their fees at all.

The Minister stated that a condition of the granting of the charge was that Colleges increase the accountability and transparency of the allocation of student services funds.

Yet College Treasurer Face Dempsey REFUSED to speak to The Record about the charge.

College will not answer to the students through their media, and in negotiations simply blames the Department of Education’s funding cuts.

Moore commented that “it appears that College are prepared to talk to representatives simply so they can claim they have consulted the students but quite obviously they find it difficult to launch a public defence of their actions.”

No concessions

College will not even consider allowing students to pay fees in instalments, a move which would alleviate the problem of having to pay an unexpected £300.

Moore claims the Treasurer, Bursar and Senior Dean rejected the proposal out of hand in negotiations because it was too costly “both in terms of money and of administration.”

Jumping figures

Bursar PJ Drudy claim that the services provided have always cost £300, even though they will only receive £250 per student for this purpose.

But the document produced to prove this, when compared with past accounts, show a sensational jump in one year of £160,000 in the supposed costs of exams, from £320,000 one year to a staggering £483,000 the next.

This has sparked speculation in student political circles that the accounts have been made to conform to a figure which would justify the charge by College.

Moore claims that when he challenged the Bursar PJ Drudy on this he was assured that the accounts were audited twice, one of which times is by the Controller and Auditor General, and were therefore accurate.


Many students are outraged at the charge, and Students’ Union staff report many distressed callers concerning the charge.

Students who do not pay the fee, however, will not be allowed to register, and this will prevent them receiving a degree.

Moore stated that “College have the ultimate stick to beat students with. They can take students’ money off of them and then if they won’t pay, refuse to give them a degree.”

Not attributed

October 1st 1997

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