Feb 15, 2024

TCDSU Occupy Department of Further and Higher Education, Demand Investment in Student Supports

On Thursday, February 15th, TCDSU occupied the Department of Further and Higher Education to demand increased student supports, government funding and democratisation of the university.

Leah Downey and Clara Roche
Photo by Leah Downey for The University Times

On Thursday, February 15th at 11.11am, the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) marched from the Dining Hall to the Department of Further and Higher Education to demand “a long-term solution to the student living crisis”. 

The Students’ Union demanded that college counselling services meet the recommended ratio of 1000:1 counsellors to students, and ordered permanent state investment on this front. The Union further demanded the government to deliver the €307 million annual shortfall in core funding of universities. 

Other demands included the abolition of tuition fees, the seizure of vacant properties, the restoration of the eviction ban and the implementation of rent controls. The Union also expressed a desire to democratise the university and bring it under student and staff control, and to end precarious employment in universities for both academics and postgraduate researchers. 


Speaking to the students present, TCDSU President Lászlo Molnárfi said that no change has happened since the National Student Walkout in 2022. He stated: “All we have received from Simon Harris is smoke and mirrors.” 

“No amount of lobbying will actually deliver us the changes that we want to see in funding”, he continued. “We must fight back… this government has done our communities undeniable harm.” 

TCDSU Gender Equality Officer Anna Kollár corroborated Molnárfi’s complaints, stating: “Enough of college bureaucracy. Enough of Simon Harris. Enough of Leo Varadkar.” 

A representative from the Trinity branch of the Postgraduate Workers’ Union (PWO) echoed the Union’s demands of “free and affordable education for all”. 

Molnárfi led the crowd in chants including “student rights, workers’ rights, same struggle, same fight” and “Leo, Leo, we want degrees, open access and all for free”. 

The group then occupied the Department of Further and Higher Education, at which point the Gardaí were called and removed the protestors from the building. 

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