Coronavirus: UU students released from accommodation contracts

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

  • Published
The Ulster University's Belfast campus building

Ulster University (UU) has said students who have left their halls of residence can cancel their accommodation contracts.

University accommodation remains open, but many students have left their campus.

It is because face-to-face teaching has ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ulster University has now taken the same decision.

“Ulster University has agreed that students living in the university’s student accommodation who wish to return home will be released from their contractual obligations with no financial penalties,” a spokesperson said.

“University accommodation remains open and operating as normal for those students who wish to remain in their university home.”

Hardship Fund

“It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic is having deep economic impact with significant financial hardship for many across society and we understand our students are not exempt from this with many losing part-time jobs within the hospitality sector.

“Therefore, we are actively considering whether it may be possible to bolster our Ulster University Hardship Fund to support those students suffering from genuine financial hardship at this time.”

The university said it would attempt to fast-track applications to the fund.

However, the position for many students in Northern Ireland who rent accommodation from private landlords is less clear.

UU’s students' union has advised them to get in touch with the union’s advice bureau if they need advice about contacting their landlord.

Housing Rights NI can also offer advice to students seeking to negotiate changes to a tenancy.