Students at the University of Limerick (UL) are urging the university to refund rent to students who leave campus accommodation early due to the coronavirus outbreak.
UL has told students they can claim their deposit back early but that rents paid for the rest of the semester will not be refunded.
It is in stark contrast to other universities, including University College Cork (UCC), which told students they will get pro-rata refunds if they leave campus accommodation.
UL has 2,850 beds in on-campus village residences. Some 700 students are still living there.
UL Students Union issued a statement urging UL to "issue refunds" to students who have opted to leave campus:
The University of Limerick is the only university in Ireland not offering refunds to students for their on-campus accommodation. This position is simply untenable.
"The University of Limerick must show a duty of care to its students during the Covid-19 pandemic. Refunding students for their unused accommodation would take a significant financial burden off students this year."
A university spokesperson said that on-campus accommodation "has remained open and operational".
Extended seven-day-a-week support services have been established to "continue to enable students to live in their homes".
"We continue to examine all issues in light of the rapidly changing circumstances of this global Covid-19 crisis," they added.
Universities have taken a range of approaches in handling student accommodation in the context of the crisis.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) was roundly criticised after it closed its campus accommodation with just 24 hours’’ notice. The decision was made in the context of eight students contracting the coronavirus.
University College Cork (UCC), on the other hand, requested that any student who was in a position to do so to return home. They "will receive a pro rata refund of their accommodation fee" from the date of their departure, the university said.
However, it also said those students "with a legitimate reason for remaining" in campus accommodation may do so.