Apart from all the previous years, this year the mostly students will be completing their graduation programs via online only. Certain universities in Ireland have an idea of providing short-term rentals of just one or two days.
The Minister for Future and Higher Education Simon Harris asked the accommodation providers to be flexible with student’s accommodation. Certain rental facilities are run by the universities directly and some are managed by private parties.
Most of the students left their on campus rental homes by June itself and started completing their semester by studying online.
While certain rental owners refunded the rent back to the students, many were not ready to refund the registration fees for the last / next academic year.
Over the past few years renting on campus were having a high demand and it had reached up to 8,000 euro for the full academic year.
Minister Harris said that he wants to see universities and colleges being flexible with student’s accommodation, if they don’t need to attend their studies directly at the campus.
“We know some students in the likes of Dublin, Galway, Cork or Limerick, they’d be in college five days a week, so they’d rent somewhere for that time,” he said. “But if they’re now only in two days, they may ask ‘do I need to pay out that very large sum of money and is there a better way of doing it?’.”
The minister also said that the government is looking forward to ensure a safe return for the students to the campus.
The colleges and the universities will publish the time tables before hand in a way that helps the students to get an idea of the college year might look like.
“It’s for them to decide, but you could see a scenario where perhaps you could rent a room for x number of days a week, rather than having to take out a lease on a facility for the entire year. I would call on universities to be as flexible as possible.” He added.
Adapting to the change
The Dublin City University (DCU) and University of Limerick (UL) had already made some changes regarding the rentals and accommodation of the students, which is quite similar to that idea of the Minister’s.
The DCU has introduced a unique flexible accommodation model considering the current circumstance of the students.
It had open campus accommodations to students and they had also an option for booking short term stays with regards to availability throughout the academic year.
The DCU said that: “It is clear that all students will not be on campus at the same time, and that it is highly unlikely that any given student would need to be on campus more than a small number of days per week.”
The UL said that: “Students will still be in a position to access services and facilities on campus during the weeks where they are undertaking online learning. For this reason full semester accommodation only is on offer to first year students.”
Certain Universities like the NUI Galway requests and are encouraging the students to attend campuses from the next year.
A university spokesperson said that by this way the students will be able to experience the fullest learning experience possible.
“All of our campus accommodation is already booked for the next academic year and our team in the residences are developing plans, in compliance with public health guidelines, to ensure the safe return of residents to campus.” He added.
He also mentioned that there will be en-suite bedrooms and delivered meals that will be helpful to the overseas students who needed to undergo a mandatory quarantine of 14 days.