Postgraduate accommodation leases have been changed to prioritise first year PhD students and only allow 1 year occupancy licences on DCU campuses.
Campus Residences will give preference to PhD students in their first year of research instead of current registered postgraduates starting with the 2017/2018 academic year.
The DCU accommodation company are now applying the same application process for postgraduate residences as for all others on-campus, meaning that registered PhD students must apply for accommodation for each academic year.
Before this, postgraduate students could obtain a lease lasting for the duration of their degree. The updated system will allocate successful applicants accommodation during July of this year, giving unsuccessful applicants only over a month to find their own place to live.
Students’ Union Postgraduate Officer, Allan Stevenson, has already begun building a database of continuing PhD students who may be in need of alternative accommodation should they not secure an on-campus room.
“The recent email proposes that post-doc researchers will not be able to continue their residency on campus. Unfortunately, these individuals are not represented by the Student’s Union and our main priority is to ensure that none of our student body is left without a home,” said Stevenson.
Regarding the new occupancy licences, Stevenson said: “Doing a PHD is hard enough without having to worry if you are going to have a place to sleep or become homeless,
“In the new agreement with Campus Residences PGs will only know in July if they will have a roof over their head or will have to move out in August. Furthermore, they are not guaranteed to have the same room for the coming year or what the rent increase will be.”
DCU’s postgraduate centre can’t currently house over 100 PhD students but plans to provide 560 new rooms for postgraduate and undergraduate students on the Glasnevin campus, as well as 300 more rooms on the All Hallows’ campus.
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