University of Limerick (UL) students who choose to delay moving into campus accommodation due to government restrictions will receive a refund of their rent for up to two weeks.
Additionally, UCD is offering a full housing deposit refund to students who cancel their campus accommodation after check-in. UCD students were previously entitled to 25 per cent of their deposit.
The universities announced their offers after the government directed all Irish universities to hold classes solely online for the first two to three weeks of this semester, in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Most third-level institutes in Dublin have moved to virtual classes following a nationwide Level 3 lockdown.
In light of the restrictions, NUI Galway (NUIG) and UCD decided to continue all learning activities online for the rest of the semester in an effort to provide certainty to students.
UL’s decision to offer accommodation refunds comes after student protests in May when the college did not refund its residents of their rent who had moved out during the country’s initial lockdown.
UL later confirmed that the school would refund students for their May accommodation fees after receiving criticism from the then Minister for Education, Joe McHugh.
DCU and Maynooth University also decided to refund any wasted rent, after facing similar disapproval.
In a momentous year for student protests, public outcry was also successful in reversing universities’ plans to increase campus rent by 3-4%.
DCU, NUIG and Maynooth University were among the third level institutes to make the reversal.
Students across the country still face full academic fees despite restricted access to campus, which Minister for Education Norma Foley confirmed at the end of August after stating that third-level colleges would still be entitled to charge full tuition.
As for the safety of students now moving into UL accommodation, students must complete an online video briefing relating to health protocol for Covid-19.
UL will move any student with a confirmed case of Covid-19 into one of 50 quarantine student bedrooms on campus, reserving two apartments for every student village.
All housemates of any resident with a confirmed case will be required to self-isolate and arrange for a test.
Image Credit: University of Limerick