UCD HAS CHANGED its on-campus accommodation policy, meaning that existing students no longer have priority for places.
Some students have written of their shock at the change, expressing concern about how they would find somewhere to live while attending the university.
One told TheJournal.ie that some final year students might want to live close to the library for study reasons, adding “[UCD] released this information during exam week which I personally and many of my friends feel has severely increased our stress levels”.
Many tears have been shed over facing another summer house hunting.
Review group recommendation
But the university said the change came on recommendation of a review group.
“This year UCD increased the number of student accommodation places on campus from 2,762 to 2,814,” said a UCD spokesperson.
“Out of this number, the number of places for CAO first years has been increased by 320 from 815 to 1,135.”
They said that “conscious that the demand for student on-campus accommodation exceeds supply”, a Student Residences Review Group was set up in December 2014 under the governance of the Student Experience Group, which reports directly into the University Management Team (UMT).
Both groups include student representatives. This Student Experience Group has now reported and the UMT has adopted its recommendations.
The Review Group recommended that the principles of “vulnerability” and “contribution” would be used to prioritise allocation of accommodation.
This led to the existing allocation balance being changed in favour of new entrant students.
The move means that in 2015/16, continuing and senior students will not be prioritised for on-campus accommodation.
There is a housing advice centre and service run by UCD’s accommodation booking & support office.
Additional residences are under construction on campus and the policy will be reviewed as these come on stream, concluded the spokesperson.
Last year, UCD’s campus accommodation application system failed after students sent in 10,000 applications in three minutes.