Letter | ‘I am appalled at news coming from NUI Galway this week’

galway daily news letter to editor cian mortimer people before profit galway debenhams workers strike

Dear Editor,

As a postgraduate representative on NUI Galway’s (soon to be University of Galway’s) Governing Authority and Academic Council, I am appalled at the news coming from the university this week.

The university has established a “new partnership to promote NUI Galway to students in Asia and beyond.”

Frankly, I am astounded at the gall of the university. In recent weeks, they have published new accommodation advice on their website, recommending Oughterard, Athenry, and Tuam as viable commuter options for students.

At the same time, there are no plans to expand student parking allocations meaning people forced to use cars will have nowhere to park them.

Weekly, my emails are full of lecturers and researchers begging for rooms or accommodation for students coming from abroad.

There are also numerous cases where students, myself included, are turning down PhD opportunities because of the lack of accommodation coupled with the poor remuneration offered.

The university’s latest on campus construction is costing €100,000 per bed, ensuring the price tag is almost €70 million.

This cost will be imposed on students as the university seeks to recoup any and all possible income from desperate students. Placing “affordable” in the title and in strategic development plans does not make it so.

As of writing, there are 22 properties to rent on Daft.ie – with half of them over €2,000 per month.

With students making up a significant amount of minimum wage labour, these prices are well outside what is possible. The housing crisis is intrinsically linked with the cost of living crisis.

Until the university and country are better positioned to facilitate these students, it is improper to offer them a ceád míle fáilte without even a place to call home.

Criodán Ó Murchú
Postgraduate Representative
Údarás na hOllscoile