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University College Dublin Favours Financial Returns over Student Bed Spaces

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

University College Dublin has sparked controversy by announcing plans to convert 40 student beds into high-end corporate seminar rooms.

The university is understood to be spending EUR 2.5 million on the conversions, which will transform the student accommodation into seminar rooms and new office space for the UCD business school's professional diploma courses.

In total 40 out of the current 180 student bedrooms located on the business school's Blackrock campus are to be converted into seminar and breakout rooms. Lounge and dining facilities will also be provided to cater for those taking courses.

UCD Students' Union president Conor Viscardi said the work raised questions about the university's priorities when there is student accommodation crisis in south Dublin.

A spokesman for the university said the beds at Blackrock had come to the end of their life and the college's new policy was to consolidate future undergraduate student accommodation on the main Belfield campus.

The spokesman added there is a new 354-bed accommodation scheme scheduled on their main campus and an additional 3,000 on-campus rooms planned for Belfield. This will bring the total number of beds available to almost a quarter of the total student population.

The internal UCD documents, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show the college believes the conversion to seminar rooms will provide a higher financial return for the college. The documents also reveal the university did not consider refurbishing the existing student bedrooms.