In an endeavour to curtail the country’s massive deficits in the numbers of available bed spaces for university students, Ireland’s Ministers for Education and Skills, Higher Education and Housing and Urban Renewal have implemented a National Student Accommodation Strategy. Plans are on to increase the number of purpose built student accommodation beds in Ireland by 63%, equating to 21,000 beds, in seven years.
In addition to this, the Government also hopes to increase the number of available digs – rooms leased in private family homes – by 4,000 beds per annum by the year 2019.
Accommodation for both local and international students has not kept pace with demand over the past decade, as at present there are just 33,400 available beds in the country to meet the demand for 57,000. The current shortfall of 23,000 beds is predicted to continue for at least another seven years.
Higher education enrolments are expected to grow in Ireland 27% by 2030, and the International Education Strategy announced last year has estimated a growth target of 33% for the higher education sector. If met, the number of international students will rise from 33,118 in 2014/15 to approximately 44,000 by the end of the 2019/20 academic year.
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