Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Up to 100 students at UCD have held a protest over prospective rent hikes on the college campus.

Some of the students protesting today. Pic via Newstalk

They are set to go up 12% over the next three years.

Rents at UCD are currently the most expensive in the country and cost between 7 and 11 thousand.

A number of other colleges and universities around the country are also raising their accommodation fees.

One student from Galway said she has to sacrifice food to pay for her accommodation.

She said: “When I look at my cupboard it has tins of beans, chickpeas and some spices. It comes down to ‘if you’re making dinner for a few days, you have to make it last, make it last for a few days, make everything last, don’t go out, don’t do this’.

“And students should be able to have a good life in college and not to have to live in absolute misery just to make ends meet.”

Other students said the rent rise is too much.

One said: “People are sleeping in cars, people are travelling five to six hours a day and it’s not right.

“Another student said: “I personally have a four-hour, at least, commute every day,” while another student revealed:

I am currently staying in Merville, which is the cheapest on-campus accommodation on the Belfield campus, I paid seven-and-a-half grand.

Student Union President Joanna Siewierska, meanwhile, said the planned rent increases should be scrapped.

She said: “We find it completely unacceptable – we’re in the midst of a housing crisis, and there’s no justification or reason to increase rents by this incredible amount.

“We’re already the most expensive on-campus accommodation provider in the country.”

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