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covid demand Queen's University offer students £1,500 payment to not take up rooms in halls

The university says their own accommodation has become oversubscribed during the pandemic


Queen's University

Queen's University

Queen's University

Students at Queen’s University in Belfast have been offered as much as £1,500 to find alternative accommodation to the university’s halls of residence.

The university said it is due to unprecedented demand on halls accommodation which has become oversubscribed.

It’s understood more students are opting to live in the university accommodation due to the pandemic, after many private landlords made it difficult for students to leave contracts, with many students having to continue rent payments when lectures and classes were suspended during the crisis.

The university sent an email to eligible first year students offering financial incentives, saying there had been a 12% increase in the number of applications for halls this year on the previous year.

Those who have already paid deposits on halls of residence accommodation who wish to avail of the incentive will have their deposits refunded.


Queen’s have also offered gym membership worth £100 and £150 to be put on students’ Queen’s University student card.

The university has previously offered students living in halls of residence, who wanted to leave due to the suspension of on-site university learning, a rent holiday.

The email sent to students said other universities were facing the same problem.

It read: ‘We have made strenuous efforts to source a variety of alternative accommodation options but this has proved exceptionally challenging this year.

‘In order to reduce the number of students who still need accommodation and help prioritise those most in need, we are launching a £1,500 financial offer to eligible students as an alternative to taking a room in Queen's accommodation this incoming academic year.’

A spokesperson said demand had surged because “Belfast is attracting a higher number of students who wish to live in the city and demand has been further heightened as a result of the pandemic.

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"In particular, Queen's offered extensive support to students, and flexible terms and conditions during lockdowns which has resulted in more students wanting to live in university accommodation for the 2021-22 year.”

The university also said it was exploring options to provide bed and breakfast options for students who may want to stay in Belfast for a short period of time to study.

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