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All Hallows' students shocked as school to shut a year early


Mature student Gerry Floyd (59) outside All Hallows College

Mature student Gerry Floyd (59) outside All Hallows College

Mark Condren

Mature student Gerry Floyd (59) outside All Hallows College

Students at the historic All Hallows college say they have been "shown the door" after being told they must complete shortened degrees or move to another third-level institute.

The 170-year-old Catholic institution is expected to go 'sale agreed' next month and will stop functioning as a college in May 2016.

It was placed on the market with a price tag of €9.5m last year after management announced it would need a major cash injection to remain in operation.

The decision followed a controversy over its unsuccessful attempt to raise funds by selling letters written by the late US First Lady Jackie Kennedy to an Irish priest.

Current third-year students will finish their degrees as normal but second years have been told they must transfer to an alternative college or finish their degree early.

If students do not wish to finish their four-year degree in three years they may still do a fourth year through "blended learning", a form of online learning, and a transfer to DCU.

Gerry Floyd (59), a mature student studying theology and English, told the Irish Independent: "We signed up for a full four-year double honours degree and now I feel totally betrayed by what has happened.

"If the college knew in 2013 that it had financial problems then it should never have accepted more students when they couldn't have guaranteed them a complete course."

Several other students also expressed serious concerns about the proposals. A spokeswoman for All Hallows college said "the door is open" for students to discuss their issues, and that a three-year degree was "no lesser" than a four-year one.

"All Hallows will cease to exist at the end of the 2015/2016 academic year," the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman said that All Hallows did not yet know where students who transferred will be based but expected that it would be "on a DCU campus".

She said it was "tragic" that the college had to close and that the college accepted that it was offering options that students "had not signed up for".

"This wasn't what we intended to happen but we are now in a situation where it is no longer feasible and we have done our utmost to do what's best for our students", she said.

Irish Independent