Universities citing large numbers of deferrals in students taking college courses due to accommodation crisis

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Universities are reporting an increase in deferral applications for the new academic year, with the accommodation crisis among the key reasons given.

olleges are continuing to process offers and acceptances for courses through the CAO, but some students have already deferred places as they cannot find anywhere to live.

Nearly one-third of students who have deferred their place at University of Galway have done so because of accommodation issues, while Trinity College Dublin (TCD) said its deferral requests for round one CAO offers are up 20pc on last year.

Around 10pc mentioned accommodation as part of the reason for seeking a delay.

University of Galway said nearly 300 undergraduate students have opted to defer so far, with 92 citing accommodation.

The college confirmed there has been an 11pc increase in deferral requests when compared with the same period last year.

In Dublin, affordable accommodation is also in short supply and proving an obstacle for some.

A spokesperson for TCD said accommodation has never been listed as a factor for people deferring in the past, with gap years and illness usually being the most common reasons. However, this year it has been an issue.

The college has requested people in its vicinity with spare rooms in their homes to accommodate students amid a major housing shortage in the capital.

In a leaflet circulated to households, Trinity College officials said: “Thousands of students are struggling to secure accommodation for the coming academic year.

“We are looking for rooms in owner-occupied homes for single terms or the academic year.

“These rooms will be advertised on our accommodation portal exclusively to Trinity students.”

Dublin City University ( DCU) said its students have until October 28 to apply for a deferral, and it does not yet have figures.

However, its expects the accommodation crisis will result in some students delaying starting college.

DCU recently appealed to its alumni to rent rooms to students in a bid to ease the crisis, with more than 100 rooms being offered as a result.

The university has received nearly seven applications for each bed space in its on-campus accommodation amid a shortage of rental properties in the capital.

“Regrettably, this crisis may lead to some students not being able to take up their places in DCU for the new academic year and having to defer,” the university said.

“No student should have to forgo their education because they cannot find a place to live.”

University College Cork said it had received a number of requests for assistance from students struggling to find accommodation.

However, it said it “will wait a number of weeks into the first semester before determining whether or not there has been any increase in the number of students deferring”.

University College Dublin said it did not have figures on deferral applications, while Technological University Dublin (TUD) said a small number of students have referenced accommodation issues in their deferrals.

A TUD spokesperson said it will not have sufficient data on this for a couple of weeks.

The University of Limerick said the number of deferrals is in line with previous years.

“Though not categorised, there is no direct evidence to suggest that the accommodation issue is having a significant impact on deferral rates,” a spokesperson said.

Limerick’s Mary Immaculate College said “it appears that less than a handful of students have cited accommodation issues as being the reason as to why they wish to defer their place of offer”.

Other technological universities stated they only grant deferrals under exceptional circumstances such as bereavement or on medical grounds, and therefore did not have figures for deferrals based on accommodation.

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