TCD to introduce repeat fees in anticipation of reform

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has announced plans to introduce financial charges for repeating modules in an effort to reduce the university’s loss of revenue from year-long repeat students. Reforms aimed at dispensing with the need for students to repeat a year in full will lead to a fall in academic fees received by the university. TCD is the only university in Ireland that does not charge for repeating modules. TCD’s current system involves free repeats, or supplementals, if a student fails their first sitting. If the student fails their supplemental, they must repeat and pay for the year in full and sit all their exams the following year. The cost of repeating a full year in TCD generally ranges from €5,809 to €8,499. The introduction of repeat fees will be debated by TCD Students’ Union at their first council meeting this year. In a Facebook post dated 22th January, and which has approximately 20 comments at the time of writing, TCDSU sought the views of the student body, stating that “[TCDSU] want to be led by you on this.” The post stated that the university originally wanted to charge €230 for supplementals, which TCDSU “rejected outright.” It is envisaged that under the new system, students would pay for the module that must be repeated, rather than the full year. “So, in essence, college want to charge for supplementals, but make repeating the year cheaper and with a smaller workload.” TCD Vice-provost Chris Morash has reportedly stated that a cap on the number of exams a student would be charged for could be considered, but that the current system “simply isn’t fair” on students and that TCD’s financial state must be taken into account. “[The] university as a whole is carrying a very large deficit, which we are working hard to reduce, we simply can’t bear the cost of losing the income currently produced by repeat student fees.” TCD posted losses of over €9.4 million for the year 2015/2016 while raking in €133 million in academic fees. UCD charges €230 per module for repeats, at which the resulting grade is capped at a grade point of 2.0. If a student fails more than 2 modules, they must repeat the year.