Students should have the option of accommodation refunds given they will not be on campus fulltime next year
11 August 2020
Spokesperson on Higher Education, Innovation and Research
Students should have the option of refunds from Higher Education Institutes and student accommodation providers given they will not be on campus fulltime when third-level institutes resume due to Covid restrictions according to Labour Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Senator Annie Hoey.
Senator Hoey said:
“Students and their families are under enough financial pressure this year without being forced to pay for accommodation that they may not need. Many of them have had their incomes significantly reduced due to the financial effects of the pandemic. The difficulties of reopening third-level institutes whilst the public health requirements around social distancing has meant that all students will not be able to be on campus fulltime.
“If a student is only required to be on campus for one week out of every four, then in many cases they will not need fulltime student accommodation and may be able to commute to and from their home or source short term accommodation while they are required to attend on campus.
“In one third level institute, 1st year students will be on campus one day a week and 2nd year students, one day a fortnight and with some courses certain students will only be required to be on campus for 6 days between now and February while at the same time Higher Education Institutes are actively renting full time accommodation without the possibility of students renting short term accommodation or obtaining a refund for accommodation they will not need.
“These purpose-built student accommodation providers are either ran by Universities or backed by wealthy investment funds and property developers and can well afford to give hard pressed students and their families a dig out at this difficult time.