In an email to all students, the Director and College Principal refused to reduce fees as; "the costs of delivering our programmes have not been reduced as a result of Covid-19".
On the 24th of November, Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director UCD Smurfit School, and Professor Anthony Brabazon, the College Principal and Dean of Business, sent an email to all students of the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School responding to the letter calling for a reduction of fees, sent by students on November 12. The email from Professors Doyle and Brabazon states “You may be aware that a letter was forwarded to the School late last week outlining a request for a fee reduction for all Smurfit programmes. It is important to note that the costs of delivering our programmes have not been reduced as a result of Covid-19. UCD has published a clear policy on fees which notes that full tuition fees are due in respect of the current academic year”.
The letter goes on to detail that “Over recent weeks your programme teams and class ambassadors have been working together to develop and extend multiple initiatives in order to develop community whilst you study at distance. Examples include the Intercultural Development Programme, the Global Leadership Programme, careers events and one to one career consultations, leadership webinars, industry panel discussions, guest speakers, meditation classes, social events and more”.
The University Observer has requested comment from The Smurfit school as to whether the programmes and events listed above have changed in operational costs this year due to being held online rather than in person, eliminating the need for expenses such as accommodation, transport, and refreshments. The School has not responded.
It is understood that signatories on the letter to Professors Doyle and Brabazon are disappointed that they have not been engaged with directly, especially in the context of this week's revelation that UCD has made an extra €11million in fees this year.
At the time of publication, the Smurfit School had not responded to request to comment on whether they had any intention on engaging with the signatories.