Students in University College Dublin (UCD) will pay more as a result of the university’s post-covid approach than those at the University of Limerick (UL). Following the announcement by UL of an ‘Airbnb’ system of student accommodation for the coming semester, it appears UCD students will pay more for living on campus in the upcoming trimester despite there being no confirmed number of on-campus hours.

UL have confirmed that first years will have classes on campus once every three weeks while all other years will have classes once every four weeks. To accommodate this, the university has rolled out a new system for on-campus accommodation, allowing students to live on campus for one week at a time on a three- or four-week rotating basis. The cost of this package has been set at €750 for all residencies, covering the cost of WiFi, linens, utilities and access to the sports facility. 

Students at UCD are expected to live on campus throughout of the semester as normal. UCD has reported that all on campus beds have been filled for this coming year, however, in-person classes for undergraduates will reportedly range anywhere from 30-70% of their normal timetable, and 20-86% for graduates. As a result, students even in the cheapest accommodation will pay more per week in the upcoming semester.

For a single semester [15 weeks] in UCD accommodation, prices range from €4,075 for Merville and Belgrove, to €4,891 for Glenomena, Proby, Roebuck Hall and Ashfield, and €5,986 for Roebuck Castle. When broken down to weekly payments, it will cost students between €271.67 to €399.07 per week. However, all UL students will be paying €250 a week for their first semester under the new system. 

Despite the above range for UCD accommodation, most students are housed in the middle range apartments on campus, which comes to a weekly charge of €326.07 for one semester. This is almost €100 more expensive than the new system introduced in UL this coming semester. It appears students could save money from the implementation of an ‘Airbnb’ system of accommodation.

Students have demanded clearer guidance from UCD regarding on-campus hours amid high levels of uncertainty and anxiety created by Covid-19. Despite this, UCD has filled its 3000+ accommodation places ‘as normal’ ahead of the academic year, costing students anywhere from €7932 to €11,317 for two terms.

Casey Conway – Reporter