UCC helping to house new entrants before term starts

University College Cork has been working to accommodate or help place most of its new entrants ahead of next month’s first lectures.

It has made arrangements with a number of private student accommodation complexes to set aside spaces for incoming first-years who began the hunt for places to live after receiving offers to study at UCC yesterday.

Last year, the university registered over 3,600 new undergraduates from Ireland and other EU countries.

The accommodation services have put systems in place to prioritise more than 1,500 newly-arrived international students and incoming Irish first-year students who live more than 45km from the college.

With over 2,000 of last year’s intake coming from within that distance of the campus, this leaves a target of around 1,500 to be placed in suitable accommodation.

“We have pre-booked a lot of accommodation and made arrangements with several private complexes,” said UCC student experience project officer, Verdi Ahern.

From 10am yesterday, anyone who had accepted a place at UCC through the CAO could register with the accommodation placement service.

With the facility to indicate their preference among several UCC-owned and private complexes, the object is to get several hundred people set up this week with living arrangements for the year ahead.

“We do need some more student beds in Cork, but we have things very well organised,” said Ms Ahern.

While new undergraduates are prioritised by UCC and in many other colleges, the majority of students in need of accommodation are competing for places in the private rental market.

With new student accommodation developments barely able to keep pace with growing numbers in third-level, the Higher Education Authority anticipates little progress on the shortfall of 25,000 bed spaces for students which it reported a year ago.

The website set up by Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to help match homeowners with rooms to rent had almost 300 places in owner-occupied houses on its pages yesterday, most of them in Dublin.

It has been promoting awareness of the option to rent rooms and earn up to €12,000 a year without any tax liability.

The capital’s rents faced by college students who are not in digs or student apartments are nearly back at 2007 peaks, according to the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) guide to college costs last month.

But the amounts required for rented accommodation elsewhere are also rising sharply elsewhere, and some students who had previously been commuting are now also joining the rental market despite restrictions on grants for those whose family homes are within 45km of their college.


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