Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Advertisement

Maynooth University terminates new student union centre despite yearly €150 student levy

Students had been paying €150 a year for the new centre since 2015.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

THE UNIVERSITY OF Maynooth has announced that construction on a new Student Centre project has been terminated, much to the dismay of the Students’ Union. 

Students at the campus have been charged a special €150 levy every year since 2015 to fund the centre. 

In its own statement, Maynooth University said it “shares the disappointment of our students” regarding the centre.

“MU, working in partnership with Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU), remains committed to providing students with additional spaces for informal learning and gathering that are so important for a vibrant campus experience.

“In the weeks and months ahead, the University will be providing significant additional social spaces, meeting pods, and seating, furniture and other infrastructure in buildings across the Maynooth University campus,” the statement added. 

Maynooth Students’ Union said it “condemns the announcement” and said it has been vocal in its opposition of halting the prioject.

“We work in partnership with the University at all levels to deliver the best facilities for students. However, while we understand the difficulties faced by the project it is important to state that we did not support this decision and dissented from it at every forum where we are a member,” a statement from the SU read. 

MSU President Niall Daly said: “I am angered on behalf of the students of Maynooth that the University has taken the decision to terminate the Student Centre project.

“This project was the flagship project to be funded by the student levy. Students have been paying this levy, in addition to the student contribution, since 2015 and disappointingly none of the student levy funded projects have been delivered in that time.”

The University said it “is fully committed to meeting the needs of students and will continue to work with MSU to progress a longer-term vision for student facilities”.

The MU Student Centre, previously scheduled for completion in July 2023, aimed to serve as a hub for MSU, and a focal point for student activities, a workspace for students engaged in clubs and societies, cultural, educational and recreational events and other activities.

While the university said in its statement that in plans to invest in student spaces, it did not explicitly say this would be funded through the student levy.

The Journal sought clarification on how much was collected from the levy and what will now happen with this money. 

Another statement from the university said it is reassuring students and alumni that the student levy fund will not be affected by this decision, and that monies from the fund will not be lost because of the termination of the contract.

It added: “The student levy has been in place since 1992, with student classes each year contributing to a fund for the development of student facilities from which future students will benefit.

“The levy is, and will remain, ring-fenced for student facilities projects. In recent years the levy has funded projects including sports, student facilities and an extension to Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU) building, and will continue to do so as a long-term solution to the Student Centre project is reviewed and addressed.”

The university added that 2hen the students endorsed the levy rising to its current €150 a year, it was not contingent upon this specific student centre project.

“Together, the Students Union and University considered several different project plans ranging from extensions of various sizes and locations over the last few years. Given the national landscape in terms of cost escalations, Covid, and the technical issues faced at the site, these aspects are beyond our control,” it concluded. 

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (11)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel