Universities, the kingpins of modern day third level education in Ireland. Where to go to one is great privilege and honour, a highlight in any person’s life, you would think they take an interest in each student taking into account.
How could the President of UCC once claim that 'life’s a struggle on 232,000 euro'? Try waiting until your grant comes in so you can get a bit of shopping or how you lay awake at night worrying about the next few weeks financially while the college work piles up and your fatigued mind is so tired that you cannot even gauge the thought of it.
That’s what our Irish student body is like right now, 73% of students say the cost of college causes them anxiety or stress. We have been lied to about rising tuition fees, ever since Ruairi Quinn signed that famous placard claiming they would not rise, but they did. Each year and now reside at the heights of a mere 3,000 a year. And when we all graduate? What then for the hordes of people. Join the droves which have fled far across the globe to get a chance of a decent job and perhaps somewhere where the government is less oppressing on their people. We are the next generation and we have been lied and taken advantage of? Why repay our duties to this bunch of crony privatising capitalists.
I received a letter from my college this week, claiming my fees had not being paid. I had worked hard, skipped many socialising nights with my friends, saved every spare euro and made many sacrifices to get the money in on time. But I was short my 1500 payment. By 5 euro. Perhaps something in my mind didn’t take into consideration when at a shop or just my maths had failed me, in a dire moment, not as if I had anything else on my mind. As I approached the office to rectify the situation, I was met with a fine of 200 euro. For me, that’s one week’s work. Which is 25 hours mixed into my last semester in my last year of my undergrad, which is quite busy as it is but we all need that piece of paper to say we have a degree eh?
For the university that is pocket money. Taking into account my situation they remain hell-bent on fining me. I have this feeling of utter dejection in my gut, and to be honest what I consider a very harsh decision. Yeah rules are there to be obeyed, but I was short 5 euro and now that’s turned into 200 euro, and coming into the end of my degree the most important few months that’s another week of work, which could potentially have an effect on my final grade. And after already giving this college in the region of 10,500 euro, makes me want to tell the whole hierarchical structure of this university exactly what I think of them. And I certainly am not alone on this matter with a recent student wide survey showing that of the 73% in college who work to fund their tuition say that it impacts negatively on their study time.
Students are not respected in Ireland and have being fleeced and mistreated for long enough. A bit unfortunate, but we do have the best intentions and work numerous hours so that the UCC president can take home upwards of 170,000 a year. Any hope of some spare change pal for a fine from yours truly? Regards, a dejected student.