On-campus student accommodation at UCD to cost up to €14k for next academic year

Affluent international students being targeted by college, says SU

University College Dublin, which has the largest campus residences in the country, will charge students up to €14,000 to live on-site for the next academic year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Students hoping to live on campus at UCD for the next academic year will have to pay up to €14,000 for their accommodation, it has been announced.

The college has released details of its on-site accommodation for the 2021/22 academic year, with options ranging from €8,059 to €14,465 for returning students looking to rent for the standard two semesters. Broken down, the students would pay €203 per week at the campus’s two cheapest halls.

The prices are a steep increase on figures for the current academic year, when the lowest options were under €6,800, although fees had been reduced for the first time in years due to the pandemic.

A comparison with 2019/20 prices, shows the most affordable Belgrove and Merville accommodation sites were just over €7,100 for the September to May rental period.


By contrast students looking to board on the campus of National University of Ireland Galway from September would pay at least €3,630 for a shared room and just over €5,000 for the cheapest single room.

At University College Cork on-campus renters will be charged €6,364 for two terms. Trinity College Dublin has not yet published its rates for the upcoming study year.

UCD student union President Ruairí Power said he believes the university is deliberately developing expensive accommodation to target affluent international students.

“The result is working class students and people from outside of Dublin don’t have the opportunity to study at UCD, and a lot of courses aren’t available elsewhere,” he said.

The university’s Village Studio, which can be booked as single occupancy or for two persons sharing, boasts a €14,465 rental tag.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, students had been in the midst of a protest against the university’s decision to increase the price of its on-site accommodation by 12 per cent over a three-year period.

“Those protests were gathering quite a bit of momentum,” Mr Power added.

Mr Power called for State intervention to prevent students from being locked out of third-level education due to extortionate rents.

“The vast majority of purpose-built accommodation is not suitable for most students… This is something the Minister for Housing and Minister for Higher Education should intervene on,” he added.

UCD declined to comment when approached by The Irish Times.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is High Court Reporter with The Irish Times