The President of NUI Galway has asked landlords and property owners to show compassion to students during the Covid-19 crisis.
Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh said the university has become aware of some students being served with eviction notices, while others who have been trying to go home early have been struggling to get their deposits back.
NUI Galway cancelled all lectures and moved teaching online when the government first ordered schools and colleges to close in order to limit the spread of Covid-19.
With these restriction now expanded, and extended until April 19 at least, the university has decided that all classes and assessments for the remainder of the semester will now move online.
NUIG draws its student body from a very wide geographical area, and a great many students returned home when the government began advising people to restrict their movement, but others have been unable to do so.
Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “These are challenging times for all our community. Many students have remained in Galway at this time, by necessity.
“Many have returned home, also by necessity. NUI Galway is mindful of the healthcare, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on all members of our society.
He said that the university “commends” the many landlords who have show kindness to students, adding that this is a time when people will remember how they acted towards one another.
Beyond just looking out for the students renting in Galway now, he said that looking after Galway’s reputation as a “welcoming, respectful place” is in everyone’s interests.
“We therefore request that property owners who have our students as tenants in their properties show care, compassion and some flexibility at this time of urgency and need.”
He asked property owners to work with the university on supporting students in this time.
Campus accommodation at NUIG also remains open to students who have to stay in Galway, with arrangements in place for those who need to self-isolate.
This is in stark contrast with Trinity College Dublin, which abruptly asked students living in on-campus accommodation to leave on short notice earlier this month, after coronavirus cases were identified at the university.
To keep current students up-to-date on all developments in relation to wellbeing and support, NUIG is hosting a series of online Q&A sessions, starting with accommodation queries.
This will take place on Friday, March 27 from 11am-1pm where accommodation questions will be answered at nuigalway.pubble.io/app/preview/66049.