herald

Tuesday 15 October 2019

UCD's catered digs costliest in Ireland a €11,600-a-year

The UCD website for accommodation at Roebuck Castle shows a kitchen, gym and small bedroom
The UCD website for accommodation at Roebuck Castle shows a kitchen, gym and small bedroom

The most expensive university-provided student accommodation in Ireland is at UCD.

Priced at €11,591 for the incoming 2019/2020 academic year, its Roebuck Castle residences are by far the costliest in the country.

Here, 12 students share an apartment and receive a weekly allocation of 12 meals each in the ground floor restaurant.

The news of the cost of college accommodation comes as Oireachtas Education and Skills Committee chairperson Fiona O'Loughlin spoke out against recent price hikes.

"The fact that accommodation costs have gone up everywhere is scary," she said. "It pitches students against young professionals in the rental market and makes it incredibly difficult for young people."

At Roebuck, students will have to pay €244 more for their accommodation than last year, a 2.1pc increase.

According to UCD's website, the accommodation is "award-winning and environmentally friendly".

On offer are 133 single en-suite rooms divided into 12 apartments.

Each apartment has separate spaces for a kitchen, living room and study room.

Every bedroom features a personal fridge, a single bed and standard desk, bedside locker and chair.

Duvet

Roebuck accommodation
Roebuck accommodation

Pictures via virtual tour on the website show a standard single bedroom with grey carpet and a small bathroom.

While a single duvet and pillow are supplied for residents, they must provide their own kitchenware and bed linen.

Roebuck Castle also provides "catered accommodation".

Students receive lunches from 11am to 3pm and dinner from 5pm to 7pm, which are served from the ground floor restaurant.

"Including catering in your accommodation fees is cost-efficient compared with campus outlets," according to the website.

Food is provided to each resident in accordance with their meal plan.

These include two or three options and at least one vegetarian option.

"If you have special dietary requirements (e.g. diabetes) or a food allergy, we will try to help," the website informs.

"If you are very specific about the kind of food you like to eat, you may be better suited to self-catering accommodation."

The ground floor cafe is depicted as a modern canteen, with white benches and stools, in the promotional material.

Netflix

Students are also provided with an on-site "small" gym if they are already members of the university gym.

They also have access to laundry facilities, a pool table, Netflix, Nintendo Switch and wifi.

Overnight guests can be registered to stay for up to two nights at Roebuck Castle by the residents.

They need to be signed in before midnight on the day they arrive, or midnight on a Friday if they stay over at the weekend.

UCD did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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