NUI Galway has come under heavy criticism this week for unveiling a plan to attract international students to Galway – at a time when students are being forced to sleep in bunk beds due to a severe housing shortage.
And with the university actively promoting places as far-flung as Oughterard, An Sp Idéal and Tuam for accommodation, student representatives were left puzzled by the move.
Over the past few days, NUIG signed an agreement with Cialfo – a Singapore-based organization – to promote the university to students from 105 countries in Asia and beyond.
The signing was assisted by the Taoiseach during a visit to Singapore and commits the two organizations to selling NUIG to students in Southeast Asia, China, India and beyond for a period of 13 months.
It comes as one of the main student accommodation providers in Galway has written to students who have booked single occupancy rooms telling them they must either accept a ‘twin or bunk’ room, or risk losing their place.
In correspondence seen by the Connacht Tribune, the city-based supplier says it is doing this to “meet current demand as best we can”.
The postgraduate student representative on NUIG’s governing authority, Criodán Ó Murchú, said this week that he was “amazed by the nerve” of the university in seeking additional international students as there was already an endemic housing shortage.
“The problem here is that the university will never say no to more students if they have the teaching capacity and the space on campus – because they want the money. But they seem to have no consideration for the life of the students and the impact it has on the city,” Mr. Ó Murchú said.
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