Ireland: Govt Approves Minister Harris’s Proposal to Provide Support for Construction of Student Accommodation

Dublin, Ireland

The Irish Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, has announced that the government has approved his proposal to provide state support for the construction of student accommodation for public higher education institutions in the country.

According to a media release issued by the Department of Further and Higher Education, under the new policy approved by the government, the state will offer financial support in the construction of student accommodation for the first time. The state is also expected to underpin the policy commitments outlined in Housing for All, the release said, Erudera.com reports.

“I am pleased today to confirm Government has approved my proposal to directly intervene in the delivery of student accommodation,” Harris said.

The Minister announced that up to 700 beds will be constructed, with more supply to be provided across the University of Limerick, University of Galway, and Maynooth University, to continue with Dublin City University and University College Dublin.

He also said that the ministry will work towards preparing Technological Universities for the construction of student rooms because, according to him, these universities can prosper if there is more accommodation in the country.

“Our TUs are ready for the challenge and this funding will start them on their path. As we progress this policy, we will ensure students in our target groups, the students who need the most assistance, are at the heart of the plans,” Minister Harris added.

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In its statement, the Department of Education said that the project will initially focus on providing new accommodation in areas where the planning permission has already been issued, but the work couldn’t begin due to an increase in construction costs. It said that the priority is to offer new supplies in a way that accommodation will be affordable for the targeted groups.

Announcing the government's approval of his proposal, Minister Harris thanked Higher Education Authority (HEA), colleagues at the government, and higher education institutions for their commitment to the new policy for the delivery of student accommodation.

To understand more about the government’s plans regarding the student accommodation crisis in the country, Erudera has earlier contacted the Department of Further and Higher Education. A spokesperson said that the Department is working on a policy that includes the state providing support in the construction of student accommodation which is a priority for Minister Harris and the Department.

The President of Erasmus Student Network Ireland (ESN), Cliona Peters, said previously that some Erasmus students had contacted the organization, complaining about difficulties in finding accommodation and saying that they are considering discontinuing education in Ireland due to these circumstances. She said that it was the first time that students had considered withdrawing from Irish universities for such a reason.

In September this year, the French Embassy in Ireland issued an important notice for French students about the “severe housing crisis” in Ireland and the increase in rent prices.

image source: Diogo Palhais | Unsplash

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