SU leaders call on NUI Galway to support students during COVID

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The President and Vice-President of NUI Galway have been urged to consider policies that would support students undertaking assessments this year.

A letter signed by Students’ Union leaders from USI, UCC, Trinity, GMIT and Maynooth echoed calls from NUIG Students’ Union for the University to provide more flexibility in assessments during the pandemic.

Other Universities have introduced policies including the option to retake passed exams without charge where students felt they could have achieved a better mark, and the removal of repeat exam fees. NUIG has opposed

Students’ Union President Pádraic Toomey said that he is particularly worried about final year students – as they will go out into the workforce and compete with students from UCC, Trinity and Maynooth.

“We need a level playing field where all students are offered equal opportunities to get the best possible results in these extremely trying circumstances,” said Pádraic Toomey.

“The continued refusal of NUI Galway to remove the exorbitant €295 repeat exam fee is putting huge stress on our students who are already at breaking point.”

A recent survey of over 4,000 NUI Galway students found that 54.9% were unsure that they would get a Graduate job offer.

The SU says the opportunity to have free resits of both passed and failed exams would ensure the graduating class would have a better chance of finding a job without Covid taking more from their futures.

Lorna Fitzpatrick, President of the Union of Students in Ireland which represents 374,000 students across the island, said: “We hope that the opportunities that other colleges such as UCC, Trinity and Maynooth have introduced would also be introduced in NUI Galway with the aim of providing a consistent approach to students across the sector.

“We recognise the measures introduced to date, and welcome same, however, we do not believe they provide sufficient supports for students during this time.”