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Angry UCD students hit out at 'shocking' 4pc campus rent rise

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UCD management ‘don’t care’

UCD management ‘don’t care’

UCD management ‘don’t care’

Students at University Coll-ege Dublin (UCD) have reacted with fury to the decision to increase campus rents by 4pc for the next three years.

The university, which has some of the most expensive on-campus accommodation in the country, announced the decision on Tuesday without any consultation with student representatives.

The 4pc increase translates to rent per week for on-campus residences for the academic year 2020-2021 of between €162 and €229, depending on the residence.

Crippling

UCD Students' Union president Joanna Siewierska is calling for an immediate reversal of the decision.

"It is shocking to see Ireland's largest public university use student accommodation to make a profit and do nothing to help students manage the crippling rents in Dublin," she said.

"Students are already being locked out of education by the housing crisis. We are seeing fewer and fewer students from outside of Dublin choosing to study in UCD, and little or no increase in students from lower socio-economic backgrounds coming to our university.

"This decision by UCD management shows they don't care about this reality."

UCD made €27.5m in rental income from student accommodation in 2017. This was around €10.3m more than it made in 2014.

Third-level institutions in the capital have increased their rents by 11.5pc ahead of the 2019/2020 academic year.

In response, a spokesperson for UCD said the rent increase was implemented to secure adequate funding for the maintenance of existing on-campus student accommodation and the provision of 3,000 new beds, 924 to come on stream in September.

He added that the university is conscious that while the new legislation allows reductions or discount rents, increases are capped at 4pc a year.

"Consequently, in light of its commitment to providing on-campus accommodation, the university has announced the 4pc increase for the next three years, after which it will review the rents and reduce the increases or even freeze them, if financially possible," he said.

"The university is currently constructing new residences and a student village. This development is costing in the region of €500m and is funded largely through bank loans.

"These new residences will command a higher rent averaging €257 per week for 38 weeks. UCD points out that it funds specific services to support students living on campus."