NUI Galway's refusal to remove the "exorbitant €295 repeat exam fee" is putting "huge stress" on students who are "already at breaking point".
This is the view of NUIG Students’ Union president, Pádraic Toomey [pictured below], who is calling on the university authorities to adopt more "compassionate policies" and "additional flexibility" when it comes to exams and assessments, in what is already an unprecedented and very challenging time.
Mr Toomey's call comes as the Students’ Union leaders from USI, UCC, Trinity, GMIT, and Maynooth have together written to the NUI Galway president and vice-president to voice their concern about the University’s insistence that the repeat exam fee of €295 will have to be paid. The student union leaders are calling on NUIG to either scrap the fee for this year, or provide an option to retake passed exams without charge, where students felt they could have achieved a better mark.
However, the University said students who are in the most need of financial support can apply for a fee waiver for repeat exam fees, and that the access to this fund has been widened in the past year to reflect the financial strains under the current pandemic.
It added that the repeat exam fee supports all costs associated with repeats, from the setting and correcting of assignments, to the hosting of exams online, and the awarding of results. The university added that, "more than 99 per cent of students subject to the fee will pay less than in any of the other universities charging this fee".
However, Trinity College and UCC have already scrapped repeat exam fees for the coming year. Furthermore, NUIG's claim has been contested by People Before Profit Galway's Conall McCallig, who said no other third level institution charges a fee of €295 for students who sit a single repeat exam, and that such circumstances could apply to more than 40 per cent of students who take resits. Trinity and UCC have scrapped the repeat fees. NUIG should follow suit."