A number of colleges and universities across Ireland are planning to offer short-term rentals to students who will be completing the majority of their studies for the next academic year online.
The Minister for Further Education Simon Harris asked that student accommodation providers, both university and privately owned, offer students flexible accommodation options if they do not need to attend classes in person this year.
Mr Harris told TheJournal.ie that universities were “up for this” when he discussed flexible accommodation arrangements with them.
Dublin City University (DCU) and University of Limerick (UL) have already introduced the option of renting accommodation to students for a certain number of days a week.
DCU have allocated campus accommodation to students and will also allow them to book short term stays subject to availability throughout the academic year.
DCU said “it is clear that all students will not be on campus at the same time and that it is highly unlikely that any given student would need to be on campus more than a small number of days per week, as a consequence the accommodation requirements of students in the coming year will be very different from normal.”
DCU President Prof Brain MacCraith said “this is a radically different model for on campus university accommodation but it reflects the new circumstances for students and from our discussions with them we are confident that it addresses their needs in an adaptable fashion.”
Meanwhile, University of Limerick have adopted an Airbnb style accommodation system for students who wish to live on campus this year. Students can book themselves in on a Sunday or a Monday and stay until Friday.
Each student will be given a specific time to check out by to allow for a deep clean of the accommodation to ensure it is safe for the next students staying there.
The president of the Union of Students in Ireland, Lorna Fitzpatrick welcomed the flexible arrangements that some third level institutions have already announced. However, she said it needs to be extended to all institutions and private sectors.
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