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October 12th 2010 Volume 18, Issue 3

Express University College Cork Registration fee expected to double Joan St. Leger

Irish students could be seeing their registration fees double to €3000 in 2011. From discussions with gov- ernment officials and The Hunt re- port, the UCC Students Union has had indications that the registration fee could be increased from €1500 to €3000. This follows a €600 in- crease in the charge two years ago. Protests against budgetary cut- backs are being organised to take place in November Through talks with the Union of

Students Ireland (USI) and a “prominent Fianna Fail front bencher”, the UCC Students Union now believes there will be at least a five percent cut in the third level sector budget for next year. They released a statement say-

ing, “The reality is that due to the Croke Park Agreement this 5% will need to come from the €1.8 billion budget that is non-pay, which is primarily the grant, Stu- dent Assistance Funds etc. Due to increasing numbers of people ap- plying and successfully receiving the grant for the coming year, the

grant budget is expected to rise, de- spite cutbacks, above the current €325million mark.” The USI estimates that over

€500 million will be expected to come out of the €1.8 billion non- pay budget. This will result in stu- dents looking at charges of €3000 next year and also a cut of 10% or more in the grant due to the in- creased numbers. When asked about the registra-

tion fee Vice President for the Stu- dent Experience, Con O’Brien stated that it “started out life as a registration charge, to be used for student services, but last year the government decided to increase the registration fee from €900 to €1500, an increase of €600. At the same time, they cut the core grant by broadly the same amount...So now it's much more than a fee that supports student services" The registration fee was intro-

duced in 1996 after the withdrawal of third-level fees and since then has increased by 780%. According to the Student Union President, Keith O’Brien, only €595 of the current registration fee goes to-

wards “Student Services”. These include the UCC Chaplaincy, clubs and societies, Health services and the Careers services. From the current registration fee

“€905 per student goes to pay for the government cutbacks”. Mr. O’Brien doesn’t believe that stu- dents will see any more of their registration fee going towards stu- dent services. “If they increase the registration fee to €3000, there will

be no increase in the amount of money going in to student serv- ices.” Mr. O’Brien feels that education

needs to be a “priority in societies and that everyone in society bene- fits from putting money into edu- cation. Everyone needs a solicitor, a doctor, a nurse, an estate agent, societies benefit from people get- ting a good quality third level edu- cation.”

On November 3rd there is to be

a protest in Dublin against the budgetary cutbacks. Mr O’Brien strongly believes that “this is a chance for UCC students to say no, we’re not a scapegoat, we’re not a soft target. We care about our edu- cation and we want it prioritised. He added, “Students in UCC

and across the Country are going to be the tax payers of the future, they are going to be the ones paying off NAMA, and they are going to be supplying the economy with their knowledge, their skills and their taxes.”

George Hook takes time out to discuss some serious issues with students. Story on page 4. Photo: Julia Healy.

Students assaulted within gated accommodation

Daniel Lynch Editor

Two students of University Col- lege Cork were physically attacked by three perpetrators, one of whom erratically swung a metal bar within inches of their heads. The

armed assault occurred within the confines of a gated community, Carraigbarre, which required one assailant to climb over a spiked two metre gate. CCTV footage from the accom-

modation shows a man jumping into the private grounds and imme-

diately rushing to attack one of the students who were returning home. Initially the first aggressor was re- trained, but while being removed, the other two culprits forced their way in, having failed to climb over themselves. Subsequently one of the cul-

prits, a female, appears to attempt to remove one of the two males from the situation. However, he re- turns to the gate and removes a long piece of metal used to secure it to the ground. Footage shows how he narrowly avoids connect- ing with the heads of the residents as he swings at them wildly. One of the aggressors was

later reported to have said he would be happy to “leave in an am- bulance”. After the cameras were pointed out to the perpetrators, they reluctantly fled. CCTV footage captured their five minutes of criminal activity from 2:50 to 2:55 am on Sunday the 19th of September. Continued on page 5

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