Level 5 restrictions came into place at midnight on Wednesday. DCU students living in on-campus accommodation who choose to move home during this time, will receive a refund for accommodation.
Stephen Lafferty, a student in DCU’s on-campus accommodation, said, “Now that we’re in level 5 I’ll still continue to stay up here as it is much the same as level 3 anyways in terms of my routine.”
While the country was in level 3 restrictions Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris encouraged students not to travel home to their families at the weekend in a bid to lessen the spread of the virus.
“I was strangely okay with not going home to my family at the weekends because if anything it felt safer up here.” Said Lafferty.
Students expressed that they were anxious not to bring the virus home to older members of their families.
“Even if I caught the virus, I would have been giving it to the same boys I see every day who are also in their early twenties.” Said Lafferty.
DCU has decided to move all learning for the remainder of the semester online in light of new restrictions.
Although some students feel frustrated that they paid for accommodation before the majority of classes were moved online, others feel it was nice to have a break from being at home during the previous lockdown.
“I’m glad I got accommodation here because I genuinely would have ended up depressed being stuck at home any longer than the 6 months we already had.” Said Lafferty.
Wei Siew, an international student at DCU said: “I felt that international students are unfairly marginalized to have to continue paying for accommodation while also paying for GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) renewal during their stay here.”
The move to online learning in DCU means international students feel the financial strain of moving to and living in Ireland when they could have continued their studies online from their home country.
DCU offers international students support and resources through their International Office and encourages students to avail of counselling, careers services and learning supports through DCU Student Support and Development.
However, Siew feels this is not enough saying DCU lacks support for the wellbeing of international students.
“The exorbitant tuition fees that DCU continues to charge at the time of crisis have put pressure on international students who have no family support is just disgraceful and disheartening.”
Image credit: Clara Hickey
Note: This article was reuploaded on 24/03/2021 due to a fault with The College View website.