A Sinn Féin TD has urged NUI Galway to reverse its decision to charge students almost €300 for each repeat exam.
Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh said that any fees charge must reflect the costs involved and the changed circumstances of students.
Deputy Conway-Walsh said that she has been contacted by students and parents across the West who are angry and upset that they are being asked to pay excessive amounts to repeat exams.
She described it as “unacceptable” for the university to charge students €295 euro when it costs the University ‘only a tiny fraction of that’ to host the exam.
“It shows a complete lack of compassion for the difficult financial situation many students and their families find themselves in due to Covid-19,” said the Mayo TD.
“Repeat exams are being done remotely which means a number of the associated costs no longer apply to the holding of repeat exams. I understand the average repeat exam cost to NUIG is around €10 euro per student.
“It is unjustifiable to expect students to pay almost 300 euro to take an exam on their kitchen table. Many universities have already waived the fee for this year and I believe it is only fair that NUIG do the same and gives student and their families a break.”
Deputy Conway Walsh said that the Covid crisis has put added pressures on students and their families.
“Many students have been unable to work part-time or summer jobs as a result of Covid-19.
“Families have seen their household incomes decline as many parents were forced through no fault of their own to stop working.
“The exams students failed were held after months of lockdown and the difficulty of shifting to online learning. There is a lot of anger about the decision by NUIG to charge so much, and it is easy to understand why.”
She added that the government is hiding behind the universities, saying each institution is in charge of setting the price, so “in the absence of government leadership, NUIG need to step up and do the right thing,” she said.