Postgraduates are being offered rooms for a cheaper price than undergraduates at the student accommodation complex Kavanagh Court, which College secured for Trinity students this summer.
While undergraduate students were being offered a rental price of slightly above €950 per month for the high-end self catering accommodation, postgraduates are being offered the housing for €90 less, at €860 per month.
A cheaper price for postgraduates is due to the longer length of their College year and therefore, the longer length of their stay. While most student accommodation complexes offer nine month leases in accordance with the duration of an undergraduate degree, the College year for postgraduate degrees often lasts closer to a full year. This often means that postgraduates have up to three months in which they must stay in other accommodation.
For that reason, the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) requested a cheaper rental rate to be provided to longer term tenants at a finance meeting in May. Speaking to Trinity News, GSU President Shane Collins said that in the course of the negotiations, College acknowledged the need for longer term leases, “albeit late in the day” and because of other circumstances.
Following negotiations with the Accommodation Office at Trinity, an agreement on a reduced rate for postgraduate students renting at the Kavanagh Court property was reached.
The lease will last 11 months for Trinity postgraduate students, from September 1 until mid June, when postgraduates availing of the offer will then be moved to Trinity Hall until late August.
Regarding the “huge” cost of the accommodation, Collins stated that “expensive student accommodation is something we are extremely concerned about”, adding that developers ought to be “ashamed” of the prices they offer. He criticised the “monopoly” a small number of contractors have a student accommodation complexes, which allows them to drive up prices.
He added, however, that “a lot of our members are willing to pay for accommodation offerings at these rates”. He continued: “We have people who come to Ireland, already paying extremely large tuition fees who want to have a quality experience for the duration of their programme. Key to this is somewhere to live and depending on your resources, it is your choice as to how much you are willing to pay.”
When Trinity circulated an email to undergraduate and postgraduate students in early September advertising the accommodation, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Kevin Keane expressed his disapproval at the high price, which is well above the average cost of accommodation in the city. A Daft.ie report from this year placed the average cost at €632 per month in the city centre.
“The idea of students paying upwards of €1,000 per month for accommodation is completely out of touch with the reality facing students today,” Keane said.