DCU using debt collectors to hunt down fees

DCU is one of three Irish colleges currently employing the services of a debt collector to recoup unpaid fees from students, along with University College Dublin and NUI Galway.

Some 250 former DCU students who owe money to the university are being tracked-down by a debt collector called Legal and Credit Management Services Ltd, according to a DCU spokesperson.

Ireland’s largest college, UCD, have refused to award almost 200 former students degrees as they are in arrears with their fees.

According to the Sunday Independent earlier this month, UCD have not denied reports that they awarded a €200,000 contract to a third party, in order to collect a suspected €1m from students. The majority of these students are postgraduates whose fees can range anywhere from €5,000 to €20,000.

University of Limerick have used a debt collector in the past but found they had little success in getting money from students.

Press officer Sheena Doyle told The College View : “We only brought in debt collectors when there was a very specific need, but there wasn’t a very significant return”. Most attempts were to “recover long standing debt”.

There are only between 10 and 20 former students of NUI Maynooth that have outstanding fees owed to the college according to a spokesperson, who added, “we will see if we can do anything to help them save”.

NUIM use a student budget advisory in order to accommodate students and haven’t used a debt collector for 12 months.

Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and Dublin Institute of Technology have never used a debt collector.

Chaitanya Brady

Image Credit: Flickr Via Creative Commons

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