The Union of Students in Ireland is staging a demonstration and sleep-out in front of Dáil Éireann from 12 noon today, Thursday (September 23), to highlight the increasing anger among students and their families at the desperate situation facing students looking for somewhere to live to attend college or university.
USI and student representatives from across the island will sleep out overnight on Kildare Street to kick-off a new ‘No Keys, No Degrees’ campaign to urge government to take urgent action to tackle the “worse than ever” student crisis accommodation.
There has been no response from Government to USI’s calls last week for action to tackle the crisis which is leaving many students at risk of dropping out of college, deferring, or sleeping on friend’s couches.
This new campaign will highlight how without a place to leave, many students are being locked out of the third-level system and will not be able to get their degrees.
USI President, Clare Austick said: “We are outraged at the lack of action,ter or it seems even interest, from Government on the disaster that is the situation facing students looking for accommodation at the moment. The situation has been bad for several years, but after years of inaction from Government and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an absolute mess.
“I cannot stress enough how bad the situation is for students at the moment. They are dropping out of college, deferring places, facing travelling long distances every day – that’s if there is even a public transport option – and living in hostels or hotels for crazy money. This cannot go on any longer and action must be taken. All students want is a decent, basic place to live so they can get their degrees and make a life for themselves. Today’s action is aimed at showing how angry we are and how desperate the situation is.”
Through the ‘No Keys, No Degrees’ campaign, USI and Students’ Unions across Ireland are calling for:
- Funding and a plan to develop more affordable Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
- No new course places without living spaces being provided
- Legislation and other necessary action to retain student accommodation beds
- Rent controls