Prices for rent on on-campus accommodation have been frozen at current levels for the next academic year 2011/12. The rents on-campus received criticism in the past for failing to fall alongside rent in areas around UCD due to the current economic climate. In addition, an instalment scheme has been introduced, which will allow students to pay their rent in three instalments in September, January and March.
UCD Students’ Union expressed their delight at the move, with SU President Paul Lynam stating: “First-year students in particular can benefit from living on-campus and we hope this announcement will make this route more affordable.”
While on-campus residences were traditionally reserved for first-year students in earlier years, they were opened up to all students this year. This was thought to be due to a lack of interest from first-year students. Students from Dublin and the surrounding areas were also invited to apply for on-campus residences, despite not being able to do so in the past.
It is understood that freezing the price of on-campus residences has been a priority of this year’s Students’ Union. SU Welfare Vice-President Scott Ahearn has expressed hope that the scheme can become more convenient for students: “It’s a massive step forward but not the finished article and we will continue to make the instalment scheme more student friendly and hopefully will lead to the introduction of further instalment options.” Lynam added that the new system will “relieve some of the extra financial burden being faced by students”.
Protests were held last year under then-President Gary Redmond against the high rents on campus, which involved a number of SU representatives camping out on the grass beside the main entrance to UCD.