Written answers

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Student Accommodation

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin Bay North, Labour)
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382. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to reports that a third level institution (details supplied) is not refunding prepaid rent for campus accommodation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16706/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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My Department is working with representatives from the higher education sector to address the challenges faced by students in this difficult time. Students who were residing in university-owned accommodation will receive pro rata refunds if they vacated their accommodation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I understand, based on the information available to me, that the campus accommodation in WIT is owned and operated by a separate company. While I would wish to see pro rata refunds applied in the case of students who were residing in privately owned student accommodation, it is not within the remit of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to direct any accommodation provider to offer a refund.

Refund or cancellation policies in student accommodation should be set out in the license agreement signed at the beginning of the academic year. In the first instance students should engage with their accommodation provider to see if an arrangement can be reached in regard to a refund.

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