Students who no longer need to be in Galway due to Covid-19 and the switch to online learning must be provided with refunds by Galway landlords and student accommodation providers.
This is the view of the NUI Galway Students’ Union, which has called on other landlords to follow the example of the NUIG managed Corrib Village and Goldcrest developments, along with the privately run Menlo Park apartments, which have agreed to offer refunds to students not taking up accommodation offers.
In a joint letter by the NUIG president, Ciarán Ó hOgartaigh, and the Students’ Union president, Pádraic Toomey, to accommodation providers, there was a call to show “care and compassion to students during the COVID-19 emergency”. The letter also recognised that property owners are also facing a “stressful and difficult economic time” but that there was a need to work together to “create an impression of Galway as a destination for study".
According to Mr Toomey [pictured above], with most teaching going online, many students were left with "accommodation they no longer needed and couldn't afford". He said this was adding extra financial pressures to students and their families at an already stressful time.
"We are calling on all accommodation providers in Galway to talk to their tenants," he said, "and look at how they can be flexible in their rental agreements.”