Dublin University, Trinity College, was founded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the year of grace 1592, and sometimes it feels as though this institution has not moved much further forward from the sixteenth century. Certainly this would seem to be the case with its online application process. A few months ago I made the decision to return to the university to complete my postgraduate studies. Life in Ireland has not improved much since the economic apocalypse of 2007. In fact things are continuing to get worse. The government are saying that recovery is happening, but in the real world for every job the government brags about four people are made unemployed. We are faced with the awful choice of emigration or further study, and I refuse to leave until I decide to leave. So further study it is. We all have to make ourselves more marketable, and so we must prostitute ourselves to a system wherein our value is reckoned by what economic value we have. Theology, the Classics, and Philosophy are therefore put on hold while we seek qualifications with value. Rather than sell my soul by joining the ranks of Finance and Information Technology I have elected to opt for the more valuable periphery of the Humanities – Sociology.
In its trendy attempt to become a paper free environment Trinity College has done away with application forms in favour of an online applications process. On paper this is a brilliant idea, but its lack of IT brilliance now means that my online application has become more like a fitness programme. The computerised system has been convinced that the deadline for applications has passed, and so it is dismissing all attempts to log on to the site. Naturally no one in the applications office is too keen on answering their email so new applicants are left in the dark – something we have all become used to in Ireland. In order to get around this I have been forced to resort to the trusty telephone, but the academic staff can’t see the problem as the deadline isn’t until the end of the month… on the prospectus. Someone could do with informing the computer. Having had more than enough of this craziness I decided to visit the college in person and start knocking doors. Trust me; I was in the mood for knocking heads. Eventually, after waking from pillar to post around the campus, I was asked just to hand in a written application to the course director. I love technology.