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.
In addition, the following are action point(s) which you can take to help the campaign:
- 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.
- Share this site and the petition on your social medias, as posts and stories, with the hashtag #InPersonLecturesOrRefunds.