University students sometimes have to pay to resit exams. Is this fair? Source: Shutterstock.com

Exams are arguably the most stressful time of any student’s life. The mounting pressure to succeed, combined with the new-found responsibility of cooking, cleaning and generally being an adult, is all too often too much without the added burden of paying for resits.

But now, universities are considering implementing a fee for students who fail to make the grade first time round.

Currently, at University College Dublin (UCD), students who fail exams are required to pay €230 (US$282) per module.


At Trinity College Dublin, you have to pay a whole year’s fee to resit the year if you fail a summer exam.

Trinity College is now considering implementing a fee similar to that of UCD to reduce the cost of resitting a failed module.

Vice-provost Chris Morash, who is the sponsor of the Trinity Education Project, told University Times: “If we pitch the fee for supplementals at the current UCD fee, we can offset the cost of introducing per-module billing, and thus do away with the situation of students having to pay a full year’s fees to repeat.”

However, this move will also financially burden those students who failed exams earlier in the year and could resit them in the summer exam period.

“Yes, some students will have to pay a bit more, but others will have to pay considerably less”, he said.

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union President Kevin Keane said: “The proposed change also certainly has huge benefits for students when it comes to repeating a module. Currently, there’s no option but to pay for the entire repeated year, which is extraordinarily expensive. It would, however, place new financial burden on students who need to sit supplementals.”

This leaves the question: should all students have to pay for their resits regardless of whether they need to resit the year? Or should students only be charged if they have to study for an extra year?

Morash said that, because of the extra burden, the university is considering implementing a subsidiary scheme for students who are resitting multiple modules so they are not too heavily impacted.

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