Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
23rd Aug 2017

Ireland moves to expand student housing stock

Most university students in Ireland (41%) would prefer to live in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), while another 27% would choose private rental housing. It happens, however, that only about a third of higher education students in Ireland have a PBSA bed while 31% live in private rentals. These are some of the key findings from a new report from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). The USI report underscores a long-standing challenge with respect to housing in Ireland, and student housing in particular. Simply put: there is not enough affordable housing to keep pace with demand, and that limited availability is driving up costs. For the new academic year starting in September, the PBSA shortfall alone has been estimated at 23,000 beds. “In recent years, the shortage in student accommodation has forced students, families and professionals to race for accommodation, and compete for somewhere to live,” said USI President Michael Kerrigan. “In many instances, this competition has pushed students to take accommodation that exists outside of their price range.” Another recent study, this time from the property search website Daft.ie, points out that average rents in Ireland are now 13% above the previous peak from 2008. The situation is even more acute in Dublin – home to a majority of the country’s university students – where rents are now averaging about 18% above their previous peak, and where average housing prices are up more than 12% over last year alone.

The national strategy

On 20 July, the Irish government signalled its commitment to easing housing pressures with the launch of a new National Student Accommodation Strategy. The strategy sets out 27 action items in a bid to expand housing stock for domestic and international students alike. Its key metric is PBSA beds and it projects that up to nearly 11,000 new spaces will be created by 2019, considerably beyond the previously established target of 7,000 PBSA spots by that same year. All told, the National Student Accommodation Strategy aims to see an additional 21,000 PBSA beds constructed by 2024 through a combination of public and private development initiatives. If successful, this new housing stock will join an inventory of more than 33,000 PBSA spaces currently in place throughout Ireland. Interestingly, and quite correctly, the strategy draws a straight line between the availability of affordable student housing stock and Ireland’s attractiveness as an international study destination. “Continued increases in international student numbers, combined with the impact of increased domestic student numbers, will put further pressure on the availability of PBSA,” notes the national strategy report. “The availability of on-campus PBSA is an essential element of a HEI’s internationalisation strategy. HEIs have consistently reported that international students demand guaranteed accommodation for at least the first year at time of recruitment…[Further], research internationally has shown that students living in on-campus accommodation have higher retention rates than commuter students, and also exhibit higher scores on developmental scales.“ The larger context for government action on this issue is that higher education enrolments in Ireland have continued to climb over the past ten years and further growth is forecast through the mid-2020s. Part of this growth is to be derived from expanding international enrolments, as set out in the Irish Education Globally Connected strategy released in late-2016. Globally Connected anticipates a 33% increase in foreign enrolment in Irish higher education by 2019/2020. For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • Canada: Immigration ministry tightens student visa rules and raises minimum funds requirements Read More
  • Notable government policy shifts affecting international students going into 2024 Read More
  • ICEF Podcast: How podcasting can help engage with prospective international students Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Canada: Immigration ministry tightens student visa rules and raises minimum funds requirements The Canadian government has announced that it is raising the cost-of-living financial requirement for international students applying for...
Read more
Notable government policy shifts affecting international students going into 2024 Over the past couple of years, the governments of Australia, Canada, and the UK have significantly evolved their...
Read more
ICEF Podcast: How podcasting can help engage with prospective international students Listen in as ICEF’s Craig Riggs and Martijn van de Veen discuss the latest developments in our sector,...
Read more
Germany announces new labour force integration initiatives for foreign students and graduates In a joint announcement with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)...
Read more
Signs point to cooling demand for UK higher education in non-EU markets Universities in the UK may be facing a challenging year ahead as new data indicates that visas issued...
Read more
Survey reveals students’ views on AI in study search and admissions IDP’s Emerging Futures is one of those larger student surveys that is always worth paying attention to, and...
Read more
US increases visa handling capacity in India American universities and colleges are being supported by their federal government in ramping up their competitive offer to...
Read more
International education a focal point of debate in Australia as the prospect of further regulation looms It didn’t take long for Australian schools and universities to recover their international student numbers once Australia’s border...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links