By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Public funds to be used to help some students pay rent this year

Public funds are to be used to assist students in Northern Ireland cover rent this year as they cope with remote learning and in some cases not being able to use accommodation they have already paid for.

The Northern Ireland economy minister, Diane Dodds, has written to all the province’s higher education institutions to remind them of their responsibilities regarding student welfare and to urge them to take all possible steps to ensure students are supported.

In her letter the minister calls upon the higher education providers to take account of students being “trapped” in accommodation contracts which they can no longer use, and to take action such as providing rental holidays or release from contracts for halls of residence.


Dodds wants some of the institutions to consider contacting and negotiating with private landlords in regard to their accommodation for students not living in college halls of residence.

“I have [also] been contacted by many students, parents and others regarding the negative impact the current situation is having on students’ mental health” she says.

“Not only are they worried about their financial situation, they are also expressing concerns around value for money for the fees they are paying and changes to teaching methods having an impact on the quality of provision.

“To this end, I have asked the providers to make sure students are aware of the mental health support available to them, and to take practical steps including consulting with students at an early stage about plans for assessment. I also want them to consider appropriate ‘safety nets’ for students affected by the pandemic through, for example, implementing policies on mitigating circumstances.”

The five NI higher education institutions are Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, Stranmillis University College, St Mary’s University College and Open University.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    What are they using their grants for?

  • icon

    Tricia - exactly! But, they are ‘poor defenceless students’ and we are greedy, immoral landlords and not worthy of any justice, let alone the right to evict those tenants who refuse to pay their rent, though in a position to do so.

  • icon
    • 27 January 2021 11:22 AM

    Let them rot if they don't pay!!!!!!


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up