Students had to use accommodation for the homeless

Almost 40 students ended up in cars or on friends’ couches, new survey finds

With  the student registration charge  at €3,000, the rising cost of accommodation is putting many parents and students under pressure. Photograph: Getty Images

With the student registration charge at €3,000, the rising cost of accommodation is putting many parents and students under pressure. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Some students are ending up sleeping on friends’ couches, floors or in cars due to difficulties sourcing affordable accommodation, according to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

A survey of more than 3,500 students by USI has found that almost 40 students were unable to secure accommodation and had to rely on friends or emergency accommodation for homeless people.

The warning comes as the hunt for student accommodation hots up after thousands received their college offers on Monday.

USI’s Student Housing Report finds that the lack of adequate or available accommodation is putting the health of many students at risk, and raising their likelihood of dropping out of college.

The report says the cost of on-campus accommodation is increasing significantly this year, with price hikes of 10-12 per cent across the main Dublin universities.

The survey indicates that 58 per cent of students are paying between €250 and €500 a month for their accommodation, including bills.

The highest accommodation costs reported are over €1,000 a month (just 2 per cent of respondents).

While many were able to find accommodation within a month, it took up to three months for up to a third of students. This finding will come as a worry to many students who are due to start college next moth.

Almost half of parents say they have made no financial preparations to foot the bill of putting their children through college even though costs can climb to more than €10,000.

Student loan

A new survey shows that three out of four parents who intend to send their children to college think a student loan scheme area is a great idea or worth exploring. Just over a fifth of parents are opposed to the idea.

Opposition is higher among students at just over a third, but two out of three feel it is an option at least worth exploring.

The results indicate there is openness and some support for the idea of a student loan system, which is an option set out in a Government-commissioned report into the future funding of higher education.

The findings are contained in a survey carried out for Aviva by polling firm Red C, based on a sample of more than 1,200 adults between April and May of his year.

With the student registration charge at €3,000, the rising cost of accommodation is putting many parents and students under pressure.

Latest figures from Daft.ie’s quarterly rental report show that in Dublin city centre the average price of rent has increased 16 per cent in the last year to €1,741 a month.

In the south side of the city the average rent is €1,821, an increase of 11 per cent on last year.

Other cities with large universities have also seen similar rises in the average cost of rent.

In Galway city the average rent is now €1,026, a 10 per cent rise on 2016 levels. In Cork the average rent has gone up by 7 per cent in the last year to €1,122. In Limerick city the average rent has increased by 11 per cent to €919.

Working part-time

Meanwhile, the number of students who are working part-time to meet the cost of college has increased in the last five years, according to a survey published this week by the Irish League of Credit Unions.

The study, which surveyed 474 third-level students, found that two-third of students said financial worries negatively affected their experience of college.

Some 66 per cent of students surveyed worked part-time, up from 55 per cent of students in 2011. The study found students worked on average 21 hours a week in 2017, compared to 14.4 hours a week five years ago.

Nine out of 10 students said the cost of rent was extremely high or very high, and as a result more than half of students said they planned to live at home while in college.