Thursday, June 23, 2005

NUI Galway Fees Increase

Ever notice when a collage or government proposses something like massise increases in fees.. They do it in the summer when the student body is dispersed and lacking its numerical strength of term time. Cooncidence i think not anyway here is the reply from Paddy Reilly the Nui Galway SU presidant sent to the Údarás na hOllscoile, University Management Team and Faculty Deans regarding the above increase.
Hi, Attached you'll find a document outlining the proposed increases in postgraduate fees which were recommended by the Finance/Resource Committee on Tuesday last for approval by Údarás na hOllscoile next week. Needless to say, NUI, Galway Students' Union is very unhappy with the increases being proposed by the University. The proposals have been drawn up without taking any account of the following: - The direct decrease in the value of fellowships caused by any increase in fees. The University has not indicated it has any intention to increase fellowships in line with the fee increase; - Even if fellowships were to increase, the income cap of €12,700 imposed by the Department of Education and Science would most likely be breached, meaning students qualifying for a Higher Education Grant ("local authority grant") would lose out on grant funding; - That despite assurances from the University that the above would be investigated, the cap is beyond the control of the University and in seeking to raise it, the University would effectively be seeking further funding from the Exchequer (albeit in a roundabout way), which is extremely unlikely to happen; - The impact this will have, in particular, on students studying in the arts/humanities area, who already struggle to source funding of any sort, in a system increasingly driven by research in the sciences; - The fact that NUI, Galway has traditionally attracted students (who would otherwise have gone to UCD/TCD) because of its lower fees; - The service in the University has not improved in any significant manner in recent times which may merit a higher fee; - That even though the main justification being offered is that NUI, Galway has fallen behind the sector, fee increases of 9% and 7% occurred in 2003/04 and 2004/05 respectively with a fee increase of 10% already agreed for 2005/06, despite annual inflation rates running at 2-3% during the same period. Indeed, further investigation will, no doubt, highlight other issues which I have not raised here. We in NUI, Galway Students' Union are not opposed to the idea of increasing incoming funding into the University. However, the full range of issues arising from these increases have not been reviewed, with the potential increase in revenue being the only driver. This is not a sufficiently thorough process by which to decide on such significant increases in postgraduate fees. Please review the attached documentation (paying particular attention to the right-hand columns) and I will endeavour to contact you in advance of the meeting next week to discuss this matter further. Regards, Paddy.
However it seems that it has been passed. So again it looks like the collages are trying to squezze everything they can out of students You can follow the collage debate on the student bulliten boards

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