RENTS for on-campus accommodation at University College Cork are set to rise by 3% for the upcoming academic year. That follows a hike of between 10 and 11.5% last year.
The decision was taken by Campus Accommodation UCC “due to major refurbishing work, the rise in security and maintenance costs, and the investment required to provide additional accommodation for students” and that all the income generated will be used exclusively to meet those costs.
According to UCC, any changes to Campus Accommodation rates are considered together with the student representatives on the Campus Accommodation Board.
However, UCC said that the university is “extremely conscious of the financial challenges faced by students” and to that end are set to review the applicability of this 3% increase for students in receipt of student assistance funding.
In a statement released toa UCC spokesperson said: “UCC’s Campus Accommodation rates remain significantly below the level of privately owned student accommodation in Cork City.
“In addition, Campus Accommodation UCC’s 37-week contract is shorter than the contract length of any privately owned student accommodation in Cork City.” The statement also highlights the need for UCC’s new student accommodation development at the Crow’s Nest site, Victoria Cross, which will bring an additional 255 student beds.
It comes as Sinn Féin’s Education spokesperson, Cork TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, said that students in Cork will suffer due to the planned rise in rents.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire hopes to meet the President of UCC to discuss the issue with his party colleague Eoin Ó Broin in the near future. Deputy Ó Broin is seeking meetings with colleges across the country on the issue of rising rents.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire has criticised the price increases to student accommodation across the country, stating that it results in more barriers to students receiving a third level education.
“Students will suffer, but so will the institutions from the loss of these students,” he said.
“It is neither fair nor right that students are burdened with significant costs to stay on campus while studying, and is reflective of the current housing crisis more broadly.
“While I understand that universities are attempting to accrue funding due to the gross underfunding of third level institutions by the state, students should not be taken as the easy target for revenue raising,” Deputy Ó Laoghaire added.
UCC currently manages five complexes: Victoria Mills, University Hall, Victoria Lodge, Castlewhite Apartments and Mardyke Hall with a total of 1,277-bed spaces.
Last year, rent hikes of between 10 and 11.5% occurred across UCC’s student accommodation.
The Cork university increased costs for Mardyke Hall accommodation to €6,068 in 2019/2020. That will now increase by a further 3% for 2020/2021, alongside each of the other complexes.