The President of UCC, Dr. Michael Murphy spoke and answered questions at the Student Union Council on February 3rd 2010, at which point he acknowledged that the student registration fee is “a charade practiced by government”. In pointing out that “We have fees”, the President noted his commitment to the Framework for Good Practice, which outlines the need for student involvement in the spending of the student registration charge.
He related that prior to the involvement of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Science and Education, he had in fact been unaware of the Framework and he further promised that the necessary forum for student involvement will be initiated.
In his speech the President acknowledged the effort of this year’s Student’s Union in the rebranding of Raise and Give Week, which he referred to as genius. He further thanked the students of UCC for their effort in the aftermath of November’s floods in Cork city. He noted that UCC has received a good deal of respect for coping with the trouble.
In mentioning the damage to the college and noting the monetary obstacle the damage presented, Dr. Murphy also outlined that economically, the college which twelve months ago had debts of €13.2 million, now has cut that figure to a remaining €3 million to be paid before the end of the year.
When questioned about the possibility of the ‘Exchequer providing more funds for Universities rather than the registration fee rising, the President replied that he and other heads of national Universities meet Ministers frequently to discuss this issue. When further pressed, he stated that the tuition at the University is the best it can be, which is the most important thing to get right. He asserted that “We are jointly victims on this.”
The President further answered questions regarding postgraduate numbers at UCC and noted his belief that there is a failure in providing postgraduate facilities. When questioned about provisions for disabled students and the cut in funding in this area, Dr. Murphy took note of the issue and noted his intention to follow up on it in future meetings with the Student’s Union.