NUI Galway should live up to its words

 

A chara, – I read with interest the article by Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, the president of NUI Galway, “If students want campuses to reopen they will have to share responsibility” (Opinion & Analysis, August 16th). I thoroughly enjoyed the phrase “actions should be for the collective good”. It is a great motto to live by. Yet I wonder if the management of NUI Galway really believes in this at all.

As reported by Joanne Hunt (“Costs of third-level education provide hard lessons for students”, Business, August 18th), NUI Galway charged its students €295 to sit repeat exams earlier this month. Despite assurances that it would provide study space and supports to students, neither were forthcoming, resulting in students paying €295 for the privilege of sitting the exams from their own bedrooms! It is unclear what “collective good” was being served by the university with such actions. Other institutions such as Trinity College Dublin, UCC, Maynooth University and Dublin City University waived those fees completely.

Students certainly must share responsibility, but we must remember that it is just that, shared.

NUI Galway management is still grappling to make arrangements to deal with reopening its campus, five months after it closed. Students have been urged by the university to seek accommodation in Galway; however, there is no information around the amount of time students will be expected to attend campus, if at all. Shared responsibility is a wonderful soundbite, but if we are serious about it we need to start with respect.

NUI Galway should follow the example of its sister universities and respect its students by sharing some level of information before we can begin to share responsibility. – Is mise,

PÁDRAIC TOOMEY,

President,

NUI Galway

Students’ Union,

Galway.