The price of student accommodation in Irish universities has increased almost across the board for the coming academic year.
Universities have cited inflation as the cause, with students paying record amounts in Dublin universities, in particular.
University College Dublin
The cheapest private room in University College Dublin’s Belfield campus has increased in price from €7,554 last year to €7,767 for the coming year. While first-year students will have two additional weeks in on-campus accommodation this year, the price is at its highest ever for the unit.
Students renting units the Merville housing complex will pay €833.13 per month in rent, on top of a once-off €735 deposit, a once-off €35 insurance fee and an increased monthly utilities fee of €65.
UCD has increased rent by the maximum of 2 per cent permitted under existing Rent Pressure Zone legislation. A university spokesman said the increase was due to the cost of utilities having “risen significantly over the last number of years”. The university said it has “limited the passing on of the full cost increase to license holders”.
Students renting accommodation from universities typically enter into a license to reside as opposed to tenancy agreements. This agreement does fall under the Residential Tenancies Board but gives students limitations on their rights as renters.
UCD is also offering single-occupancy on-campus accommodation units up to a total of €11,626.70 for those in the UCD Village. There are 18 penthouse bedrooms available at this price.
Dublin City University
Dublin City University has also increased the rent of its on-campus accommodation units by the maximum of 2 per cent. The cost of renting a unit in Larkfield apartments, one of the complexes available to first-year students, has increased from €5,584 last year to €5,863 next year, albeit for a slightly longer stay.
A spokesman from DCU said: “Dublin City University remains one of the most affordable on-campus accommodation options for students in the Greater Dublin Area, with a range of different rooms and apartments available for students.”
The spokesman said the university makes most of its revenue from its accommodation blocks, by renting the units out to tourists during the summer in an effort to keep the price of accommodation for its students “as affordable as possible”.
DCU said the decision to increase the price of accommodation was an effort to “offset the impact of inflation” in the price of electricity. The university said it has seen an “unprecedented” €2 million, 82 per cent, increase in electricity costs in the past year.
University of Galway
One of the only universities to decrease its accommodation price, University of Galway, said it is “taking advantage of different room configurations and sizes in order to reduce rates”.
The university said it is “conscious of the cost-of-living crisis and affordability” and that rent had been decreased for 500 beds as well as “frozen” for a further 669 beds for the fourth year in a row. “More than 90 per cent of our beds are at the same rate or cheaper than last year.”
University of Galway drew criticism from students, however, after revealing the price of rent for a new housing complex, Dunlin Village, with prices ranging as high as €962 per month for some residential options.
The university said that 501 of the new beds in Dunlin Village “will be at the same rate as some of our beds in Goldcrest Village were in 2019/20 and rents for the 173 new and larger private en suite rooms in the same complex are significantly below similar private purpose-built student accommodation”.
Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin will be increasing rent by the maximum of 2 per cent for Trinity Hall, its off-campus accommodation unit, to €6,864 for the coming year, an increase of €135 from the price last year of €6,729. The university said this was due to “persistently high inflation” and said that “all operational costs are rising”.
The university has also opened a new on-campus accommodation block, Printing House Square, which it opened to tourists over the summer. Students will have to pay a total of €10,379, including utilities, for a double or king room in the complex for the academic year.
A spokeswoman for the university said the price in Printing House Square reflects “the quality of the accommodation”. She said: “There is, unfortunately, a limit to what universities can do in the short-term to accelerate the provision of student accommodation. We are encouraging more people to avail of the Rent a Room scheme to support students in the Dublin area.”
University of Limerick
University of Limerick will also see its accommodation prices increase, with its cheapest on-campus residence, a room in the eight-bed Plassey Village increasing by €202 to €5,206 for the coming academic year.
Medicine students, whose academic year is 41 weeks, longer than most others, will see their rent at the Quigley complex increase from €8,208 to €8,438.
Maynooth has also increased the rent of its on-campus accommodation, with an en suite single room increasing to €6,107 next year, compared to €5,988 last year. Students will be charged an annual total of €600 for utilities, €100 more than last year.
University College Cork
University College Cork has not yet published its accommodation fees for the coming academic year, saying it “expects to publish these shortly”.