Now that most students are back for another academic year the situation of hard pressed parents having to pay astronomical prices for rent should be addressed in time for next year. I have constantly proposed that third level colleges build more student accommodation on their own grounds. Most colleges have plenty of spare land and they could borrow the money at a competitive rate. The building work would create employment around the country and the rent earned would comforta…ble pay back any loans very quickly. The new students accommodation would be turning a profit after a few years. Needless to say this would also free up the rental sector for families and others who might need housing. It would also ease the upward pressure on the price of renting. Public/Private partnerships should also work in this area to carry out the work
Most Irish third level institutions have slipped down the international ratings in recent years (except NUIG) and while funding is certainly an issue, colleges will have to be more creative about thinking of ways to improve their ratings. Again, Public/Private partnerships is one way that could be achieved in terms of projects and initiatives for various courses and faculties. I will be contacting the Minister for Education about these matters at the earliest opportunity.