TCD applicants issued with ‘pre-assigned’ student IDs to help beat housing rush

Union of Students in Ireland steps up campaign to get home-owners to offer rooms as ‘digs’

Aoife ní Shúilleabháin with USI vice president for campaigns Daniel Waugh,  deputy president Annie Hoey and USI president Kevin Donoghue spread the word about  USI’s free rooms listing website homes.usi.ie.  Photograph: Andres Poveda

Aoife ní Shúilleabháin with USI vice president for campaigns Daniel Waugh, deputy president Annie Hoey and USI president Kevin Donoghue spread the word about USI’s free rooms listing website homes.usi.ie. Photograph: Andres Poveda

 

Trinity College Dublin has taken the unusual step of issuing prospective entrants this year with student numbers to help them beat the rush for college accommodation.

Thousands of applicants who listed Trinity as one of their choices have been emailed with advanced access to a TCD portal using a “pre-assigned TCD ID number”.

There was some confusion among recipients yesterday with one parent telling The Irish Times the email appeared to suggest a college place was being made available in advance of the release of Central Applications Office (CAO) offers next Monday.

However, in a statement, TCD stressed no offers were being made before then. “The communication issued to all Trinity CAO applicants was simply to provide them with username and log in details to the Trinity my.tcd.ie portal should they receive an offer of a place in Trinity via the CAO, as clearly stated in the letter.”

Tight timelines

It added “the reason we have taken this approach this year, is to mitigate the risk of successful applicants being unable to apply for college accommodation within the tight timelines due to any delay in issuing them with their username and passwords on the morning of the first round of CAO offers”.

The email sent to TCD applicants says “in the event that you are offered a place at Trinity, you will be enabled to log onto the TCD student portal” and it then provides the pre-assigned ID. When students logged into the portal using this ID they then received a message welcoming them to their home page and stating: “Following formal acceptance of a course offer, additional functionality will be displayed in your portal account.”

Unpublished report

Concern over the shortage of student accommodation has hit new heights this year, with the Higher Education Authority estimating a shortfall 25,000 beds annually for the next decade in an unpublished report, details of which were disclosed by The Irish Times last month.

The Union of Students in Ireland has stepped up its campaign to get home-owners to sign up to its rooms listing website homes.usi.ieahead of the new semester.

USI president Kevin Donoghue said: “The earlier you secure your bed for the year, the more chance you have of getting good accommodation close to your college . . . after that you may need to make compromises on quality, price and the commute to college.”

The organisation is doing a leaflet drop this week to more than 20,000 homes in Dublin and Cork, the two cities where the shortage is greatest, to encourage owners to offer rooms as “digs”.

Fianna Fáil spokesman on education Charlie McConalogue criticised the Government’s failure to address the housing shortages which have been “escalating steadily over the past four years”.