UCD fees for on-campus accommodation increase by 20-36%

Fees for September to May range from €8,059 to €14,465, depending on the residence

University College Dublin (UCD) recently published the pricing for all on-campus student accommodation for the next academic year. Fees for September 2021 to May 2022 range from €8,059.33 to €14,465, depending on the residence.

During the 2020/21 academic year, the cheapest on-campus residences, Belgrove and Merville, were priced at €6,696.95 from September 17 to May 17 for continuing undergraduate students. Also last year, the most expensive residence, Roebuck Castle, cost continuing undergraduate students €10,612.27, which included catering.

In both cases, 1st year and international students paid an estimated €200 less.

The prices for 2021/22 mean that UCD on-campus accommodation fees will see a 20-36% increase for all undergraduate students in the upcoming academic year.

Accommodation fees in UCD have been rising sharply for several years. Since the 2007/08 academic year they have risen by 118%.

The most expensive accommodation for next year is the newly built UCD Village residences, which has been under construction for the past three years. It will house 924 students, bringing the total number of students living on-campus to 4,092. UCD Village residences are phase one of a two-stage construction project that will provide over 2,000 more beds on-campus by 2024.

Speaking to Trinity News, University College Dublin Students Union (UCDSU) President Ruairí Power labelled the accommodation prices “unsustainable” and “extortionate”.
“UCD is deliberately targeting wealthier international students as part of its accommodation strategy” he continued. He believes “these students are being used as cash-cows to make up for a significant shortfall in public funding”.
He also said that these expensive rents “have essentially locked out massive groups of students from middle/low-income backgrounds from studying at UCD” and “students from rural Ireland haven’t a hope of living on campus without significant family savings built up”.
He believes that “the fantastic work being done throughout the University to improve access pathways and ensure UCD is an inclusive study environment is being seriously undermined by discriminatory and elitist pricing plans for campus accommodation”.

Speaking to Trinity News, a first year UCD student has described the increase in fees as “unnecessary and unfair”.

The student lived in the Belgrove residence during the 2020/21 academic year. According to this student they were charged for “use of gym” despite it being closed as a result of Covid-19 restrictions since January.

They also claim that the Belgrove residence did not provide students with an oven or a dining table. Instead, it “has a breakfast bar that faces a wall and a small coffee table that is unnecessary for students who just need a regular dining table”.

“UCD have decided to profit off of the pandemic, instead of alleviating pressures” they continued.

On Wednesday, Cabinet signed off on new regulations regarding renters’ rights in tenancy agreements. From the new academic year, students will only be required to provide a deposit and a month’s rent in advance of moving in. Cabinet also extended Covid-19 protections for student renters allowing them to opt out of their accommodation contracts in the case of a fourth wave with 28 days notice.

This article was updated at 4:20pm on 14/06/21 to include a comment from Power.

Bella Salerno

Bella Salerno is a staff writer for Trinity News