University challenge: Trinity’s €400m revamp at risk as projects hit by delays, cuts and inflation

Board documents show Ireland’s oldest university is pursuing Chinese investment and hiking international student fees, as spiralling costs pose major challenges to its planned modernisation of the campus

Trinity College Dublin: many of its capital projects, worth a total of more than €400 million, are either delayed or have had to be significantly pared back. Pictures: Fergal Phillips

For more than 20 years, Trinity College Dublin has been expanding, pursuing ambitious capital projects in an attempt to modernise and grow its ageing estate.

“Since 1997, there has almost always been a crane in the sky on this campus,” is how one long-time staff member put it.

This wasn’t an accident. The aggressive development strategy was pioneered and championed by Patrick Prendergast, the former TCD provost whose ten-year term concluded in 2021. And it’s ...