NUI Galway’s Students’ Union has condemned the university’s decision to charge a fee for students who are sitting an online repeat exam this year.
Students who do not pass an exam when they first sit them in May have the option to sit a repeat exam in August, for which a fee of €295 is charged.
The Students’ Union is calling on NUIG to scrap the repeat exam fee this year, due to the challenges students have faced with new online learning formats and lack of traditional resources due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The SU also said that many of the costs associated with repeat exams won’t exist if they take place online, and accused the university of taking advantage of COVID-19 to generate income.
Students’ Union President Pádraic Toomey said they are “disgusted” by the university’s decision to charge students for online repeat exams.
He said that students are being charged €295 for the “pleasure of sitting the repeat exam in their own bedroom.
“We are in extraordinary times where students have not had access to learning facilities like the library and face to face teaching, and many have struggled as a result.”
“Now, the University wants to punish those students with this charge instead of following the example of other colleges which have cancelled the fee.”
When reached out to for comment by Galway Daily, NUIG said that the repeat exam fee covers all the costs associated with the exams including the “setting and correcting of assignments in a more challenging context this year, to the hosting of exams online and the awarding of results.”
“By supporting the cost of repeat exams in this way, this cost is not cross-subsidised by other students or drawing on other resources that the University devotes to and for our students.”
The university also said that it is providing financial support for students through extending its financial aid fund this year, offering rent refunds to students forced to leave early due to COVID-19, and greater flexibility on programme deferral and refunding deposits.
Students who are in the most financial need can also apply for a fee waiver for the repeat exams.