More than 1,000 student beds to be created under scheme – but not in time for autumn

State funding aims to help third level institutions build more student accommodation

More than 1,000 new student beds will be provided under a Government scheme to subsidise the cost of accommodation but none will be available for the coming academic year.

Many third level institutions complained that the cost of building accommodation was no longer economical, given rampant inflation in the construction sector.

They stated the cost of construction meant they could not offer new accommodation at an affordable rate to students.

In November, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris announced the Government would intervene for the first time in the provision of student accommodation, given the acute shortages in the sector.


The priority was to activate projects that had planning permission but were stalled due to rising construction costs and financing.

Figures provided by the Department of Further and Higher Education reveal that the State has provided up to €61 million in capital and current funding to unlock the development of 1,072 beds in four universities.

The money will allow Dublin City University to provide 405 new beds; the University of Limerick, 309; the University of Galway, 242; and Maynooth University, 116.

None of the units that have been approved will be ready for the current academic year, however, with the first batch coming on stream in 2024 at the earliest.

University College Dublin, University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin are being considered for assistance as part of the scheme.

The department is also developing a long-term policy response to state support supply of student accommodation. In addition, plans to develop accommodation for the five Technological Universities are under way.

The following will be included: Atlantic Technological University, South East Technological University, Munster Technological University, Technological University Dublin, Technological University of the Shannon, Institute of Art Design & Technology and Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Many of these do not have on-campus student accommodation due, in part, to legal obstacles which have prevented them borrowing money.

The cost of on-campus accommodation for students remains a barrier for many. The cheapest private room in UCD’s Belfield campus is €7,767 a year, DCU’s is €5,863 while TCD charges €6,864 a year for its cheapest off-campus accommodation. The cheapest accommodation in the University of Limerick is €5,206 a year and in Maynooth University it is €6,107 per year.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times