Now our students are hit by housing crisis
Published 30/08/2016 | 02:30
It has been a stressful and expensive time for our students and their parents. After the tensions of the Leaving Certificate, and the agony and joy of results being revealed, has come the uncertain lottery of college place allocations.
Then comes the trial by ordeal of getting those students suitable accommodation for the coming year, amid the worst phase of yet another national housing crisis. Rents have risen dramatically in most of the centres of third level learning, most especially in Dublin.
Many landlords do not want students as tenants for a variety of reasons, not least because students only require accommodation for nine of the 12 months. It means student accommodation is extremely scarce and increasingly expensive.
Now, to crown all these grim realities, we find many colleges have hiked their charges for the limited amount of student accommodation which they supply.
The Union of Students in Ireland has reasonably cried foul on this one and protested at yet another injustice being heaped upon young people trying to get a start in life.
Maynooth University has kept its cheapest accommodation at the same price as last year but increased its most expensive by €760.
Accommodation prices in other colleges remain high.
Above all, the supply of such accommodation remains quite low.
There are strong arguments for taking students out of the housing market to a much greater degree.
A dramatic increase in college-linked, purpose-built student rooms would be a wise investment for the future. Our students deserve fair treatment. It is in everyone's interest.