I put the question to the Minister last month; The cost of being a student is on the rise and the numbers of students living further from home has been on the rise since 2012 with little support offered. Registration fees are also crippling low income families and the grant system with its delays does not help low income families supporting their children, the grant has a very limited scope and there should be a system of case management that treats students on their circumstances and not simply as another applicant.
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to
the current crisis facing students in obtaining accommodation in Dublin City
and the need for a long term solution to be created to mitigate this crisis and
ensure access to education; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
- Maureen O’Sullivan.
Minister Jan O’Sullivan
I appreciate that there are concerns regarding the availability of
accommodation for students in certain parts of the country and for that reason
I have asked the HEA to report on this issue. The HEA are currently working on
a draft report on student accommodation which will be available shortly and
will give us an up to date picture of the situation.
In that context, I will continue to work with Government colleagues and
stakeholders to explore ways to increase the availability of student
accommodation where needed. Many of our third-level institutions are currently
working to develop additional accommodation for their students, which will help
to address the issue in the medium term.
In the longer term, the Government is committed to addressing the housing
shortage through the Construction 2020 strategy. This will not resolve all of
our problems immediately, but I am confident that the implementation of
Construction 2020 will provide us with a sustainable housing stock in the
medium to longer term.