Leftist students for social progress.

Month: August 2021

In-Person Lectures or Refunds!

The new government policy‘s implementation in Trinity College Dublin for the re-opening of third-level education is disappointing. It is about time that we demand either a proper University experience or refunds like students in the U.K did (see e.g. UCL, UoM rent strikes, occupations and other direct action in addition to legal action).

In fact, there should have been last year too such demands, but no protest movement or radical union was there to fight for the cause.

We have created a petition outlining these demands on Uplift.ie.

We demand that:

Due to the approach to the Covid-19 regulatory framework for education that Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is taking, many students will not be able to access in-class lectures due to their large class sizes. We, as TCD students, are asking for provisions to refund a part of the student contribution fee for those affected by the continued substitution of in-person learning for digital learning.

Our reasoning is as follows:

The current regulatory framework says that “larger lectures can happen within limits linked to reducing the size or capacity of very large lecture halls” and does not consider larger lectures necessary in-person activities due to public health advice and leaves it up to institutions to “determine how best to do this in their own context”. Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has considered the health advice as it applies to their situation and announced that large lectures above 150 will not be held in-person and some lectures between 50 and 150 are up to the “discretion” of individual Schools.

If TCD has considered the current public health advice and deems that many students will not return to in-class learning, then a partial refund for students makes sense. Students have been milked for money for way too long for education.

More facts and statistics:

The last 18 months have been very hard on third-level students, both academically and mental health-wise. A survey conducted in March 2021 found that more than 90 per cent of students are struggling with loneliness, stress and are feeling disconnected with the system of online learning. This is not to mention the frustrations felt by many students as they were required to pay large sums of money for a University experience which was of much lower quality due to online learning.

To many, the news of this reopening plan comes as a disappointment, and students feel neglected by the government as their hopes of a full return to campus are crushed, especially as UCD is fully re-opening.

The fair alternative is the partial refund: Students have been milked for money for way too long for education that is of worse quality, and have been consistently promised a return to in-person learning, which they look forward to – as such, they deserve it.

Sign the In-Person Lectures or Refunds petition here!

In addition, the following are action point(s) which you can take to help the campaign:

  1. Share this site and petition into your course group chats, so as to spread awareness of the issue and encourage people to give their signatures to the petition.
  2. Share this site and the petition on your social medias, as posts and stories, with the hashtag #InPersonLecturesOrRefunds.

TCD’s Investments in the Arms Industry Amounts to 2,6 Million Euros

László Molnárfi

Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) Endowment Fund’s equity portfolio (c.65% of total Endowment Fund portfolio) comprises equity investments via units held in two indexed life assurance Funds which are passively managed by Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) as detailed below.

 • MSCI World ex-Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund

 • TCD High Yield Equity ex-Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund

By way of a FOI request answered on the 30th of July 2021, TCD and ILIM provided a list of “full portfolio listings of the two indexed equity funds at 31 December 2020” to us.

In our research, we looked at the following arms companies to see whether TCD has any investments in them. There may be some which are not on the list and therefore not in the table below. In total, according to this list, Trinity College Dublin has 2,6+ million euros invested in the arms industry, which is increased from 2015 when a journalistic inquiry determined the same figure to be around 850,000 €. For example, it has 721,473 € invested in LockHeed Martin, a company whose handheld weapons and fighter jets have been used by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians. Through the ceaseless self-expansion of capital, capitalism has made us complicit in conflict over resources, imperialist wars and colonial oppression.

Aeroflex Ltd, Airbus Defence, Airbus Group Ltd, Airbus OP Ltd, BAE Marin Ltd, BAE Surface Ships, BMT Defence Ltd, Boeing, General Electric Co, Halliburton Energy, Halliburton Man, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell Ctrl, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Qinetiq, Thales UK Ltd, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, GKN, Smiths Group, Cobham, VT Group, General Dynamics, General Electric, Halliburton, L3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Motors are the companies involved in the global arms trade that we looked for.

Thank you to UCL’s demilitarization campaign (@demilitariseucl on Instagram) for their support through providing valuable tips on FOIs and the list of companies involved in the arms trade. Their FOI requests can be found here, here and here.

Our FOI request and the original documents are attached here. Students 4 Peace’s site can be found here!

FundAmount Total of FundName of CompanyPercentage of FundAmount Invested in Company
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €AIRBUS0.14%111,030 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €BAE SYSTEMS ORD GBP0.0250.04%31,722 €
Global High Yield Equity Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202068,895,311 €BAE SYSTEMS ORD GBP0.0250.20%137,790 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €BOEING CO COM USD50.24%190,337 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €HALLIBURTON COM USD2.500.03%23,792 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €HEWLETT PACKARD EN COM USD0.010.03%23,792 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €HONEYWELL INTL INC COM USD10.31%245,852 €
Global High Yield Equity Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202068,895,311 €LOCKHEED MARTIN CO COM USD10.84%578,720 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €LOCKHEED MARTIN CO COM USD10.18%142,753 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €THALES EUR30.02%15,861 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €ROLLS ROYCE ORD GBP1.500.03%23,792 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €SMITHS GROUP ORD GBP0.3750.02%15,861 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €GENERAL MOTORS CO COM USD0.010.11%87,238 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €L3 HARRIS TECHNOLO COM USD1.000.08%63,445 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €NORTHROP GRUMMAN COM USD10.10%79,307 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €RAYTHEON TECHNOLOG COM USD1.000.22%174,476 €
Global High Yield Equity Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202068,895,311 €RAYTHEON TECHNOLOG COM USD1.001.02%702,732 €
Figure 1: TCD’s investments in the arms industry through its Endowment Fund as of December 31st 2020.

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