Latest: Trinity College claims new repeat fees will save students money overall

Update 8.59pm: Trinity College claims it's introducing a fee to repeat exams so that it can help students save time and money.

A number of students have barricaded themselves into the university's dining hall in anger at the introduction of a €450 charge to re-sit failed exams.

Access to the Book of Kells was also blocked earlier because of the protest.

Trinity's Vice Provost, Professor Chris Morash, admits the demonstration has taken him by surprise.

“At the moment, if a student fails their first exams and they fail the supplementals, the only option available to them is to repeat the entire year, including things that they’ve already passed, and they have to pay for that,” said Morash.

“That would be about €6,000.

“With the new proposal, they would only pay for the things they’ve actually failed.”

Update 5.31pm: Calls for Minister to intervene as students shut down Trinity College entrances in fees protest

Fianna Fáil and Labour have called on Trinity to reverse its proposed introduction of new fees repeat exams.

They also want Minister for Education Richard Bruton to intervene in the matter.

“Students who fail just one examination will be forced to shell out an exorbitant amount of money to allow them progress with their degree. This approach differs to other universities which have a more modest fee per repeat examination,” said Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne.

“Minister Bruton needs to set out his view on this matter. I have concerns that the approach taken by TCD could be testing the waters for other universities to follow-suit.”

Labour Party Education spokesperson Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the decision will cause students to drop out of college.

“The outrageous decision by Trinity College Dublin to introduce a high fee of €450 to repeat exams will price many students out of college.

“The idea that students, who often need to repeat exams due to personal circumstances, will now have to pay a fee that is 15% of the annual college fees is ridiculous and may see many students drop out of college courses in TCD as a consequence.

“From an institution that is capable of purchasing a €1.95 million apartment for their Provost who couldn’t handle noise during the Luas Cross City works, it is scandalous that students in a vulnerable position will now see these types of charges imposed on them.”

Original story (4.37pm): ‘Take back Trinity’: Students shut down College entrances in fees protest

Students in Trinity College Dublin are protesting over the introduction of fees for repeat exams.

Earlier the protesters succeeded in shutting down two entrances to the university, including access to the Book of Kells.

Around fifty students have blockaded themselves into the university's dining hall.

The students say they’ll continue to occupy the dining hall for as long as necessary.

Student Stacy Wren says she couldn’t afford to repeat an exam.

“As a SUSI [Student Universal Support Ireland] student, I’m protesting partly because of myself and from what I understand, I’m not exempt from paying it,” said Ms Wren.

“So even though the government recognises that my family can’t afford for me to go to university and they pay my fees and I get a maintenance grant of €330 a month, college doesn’t care.

“College wants me to pay that €450 even though it’s more than a month’s maintenance grant for me.”

- Digital desk

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