The Governing Authority of University of Limerick will consider refunding rent to students who were forced to leave campus accommodation early due to the coronavirus outbreak, the university’s president told Clare TD Joe Carey.
The Fine Gael TD this week wrote to UL President, Dr Des Fitzgerald, after he was contacted by several Clare UL students who said the college has refused to give them partial refunds despite the fact they are no longer living on campus.
In his response, Mr Fitzgerald said the college is “facing into a storm right now” as it has been thrust into the frontline in the battle against Covid 19, adding: “UL is doing all it can to help with a field hospital, research into testing, a clinical trial on two drugs, providing materials to the hospital, accommodation and contact tracing.”
In his correspondence, Dr Fitzgerald said he was aware of the students’ concerns over campus fees, and assured Deputy Carey that the matter would be considered “by the Executive and the Governing Authority”.
Deputy Carey paid tribute to the crucial work UL are doing “at the cold face” of the emergency response to Covid-19.
However, he urged UL’s governing body to follow the example of other universities, including University College Cork (UCC), which has told its students they will get pro-rata refunds if they leave campus accommodation.
Deputy Carey said:
“I would urge the Governing Authority to take this into account when considering the matter. Refunding students for their unused accommodation would take a significant financial burden off their shoulders during this extremely difficult and challenging year."