Dundalk students urged to commute rather than pay high Dublin rental prices
DCU Students’ Union Vice President, local man Craig McHugh is advising new college students from the Dundalk area to seriously consider commuting as an option if they accept their CAO options from institutions in Dublin this week.
DCU, Trinity, DIT, NCI and a number of colleges are well within commuting distance and would ease the burden on students and parents as rents continue to soar in the Dublin area.
Speaking to The Irish Times following a demonstration for affordable Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) this week, Craig said: ”Until the government builds affordable PBSA, students from across the country will be forced to commute long distances or be priced out of an education altogether … the government have failed students massively with new accommodation blocks offering rooms starting at €255 per week.”
The cost of college per year now comes to around €15,000 when rent, bills, food, fees etc. are accounted for.
The former Dundalk Grammar School student said that the excellent transport links between Dundalk and the capital make it far more convenient for students in the locality to commute to college.
McHugh continued to advise students not to fear that they will be missing out on “the full college experience” with many students commuting and being able to stay with friends during the week for socialising and college events.
“Here in DCU we’ll be making a specific effort to accommodate students who are commuting due to the cost of accommodation.
“It’s obviously not ideal, and living away from college brings with it a wealth of personal development, but due to serious neglect from the government on the issue of student accommodation this may be the only realistic and viable option for students and their parents. No grant can cover the cost of accommodation in 2018.
“Commuting can also be a major challenge for students from very rural areas, with many relying on a lift into Dundalk itself to access the transport services,” he said.
McHugh urged students and parents to write to their local representatives expressing their concern of the spiraling rises in rents and the fact that not one affordable student accommodation project has been built since the start of the economic recovery, while luxury complexes are appearing around the city.