Graduation fees at UCC ruled out this year

CONTROVERSIAL graduation fees will not be introduced at University College Cork (UCC) this year.

The news was confirmed last night after the university’s finance committee discussed the issue on Monday.

College authorities were not available for comment last night.

But the Irish Examiner has learned that the committee was awaiting confirmation of the level of core funding for the university for 2011.

That funding was more than expected and the decision was taken to not introduce the fee.

The college authorities also took into account the financial burden facing students following the introduction of other fees in recent months.

UCC had tried to introduce a €65 graduation fee last April. Under the proposals, any student wishing to attend their graduation ceremony would have been asked to pay €65.

UCC consistently defended the move, saying it was considered as part of cost-cutting exercises after major cuts in the university’s core exchequer funding.

The cost of the previous year’s graduation ceremonies, estimated at some €200,000, was borne entirely by the university.

However, the proposal sparked a wave of protests from students and UCC eventually gave in.

They considered the issue again on Monday but ruled it out. UCC’s Students’ Union (SU) yesterday welcomed the decision.

SU president Keith O’Brien said: “This victory belongs to UCC’s students, who campaigned right along with the SU — online and in person.

“They should be proud of themselves, and realise now what they can achieve.”

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