International students in Ireland are conned twice as frequent as their peers in almost 30 European countries during the hunt for accommodation, according to a new study by HousErasmus+.
The study said 29 percent of such students were defrauded through methods like fake housing advertisements on social media and being asked for a deposit in return for a key to be delivered by post.
This is more than double the 12 percent average derived from interviews with 8,000 students who had attended 600 institutions across the continent.
Accommodation costs were presumed the highest too – 77 percent of overseas students found housing priced higher than they expected, as opposed to an average of 43 percent across all countries.
Irish Council for International Students director Sheila Power told Irish Examiner:
“Ireland is rated among the worst in Europe when it comes to the experience of international students trying to find accommodation.”
“This is hardly compatible with our international education strategy to increase international student numbers by 27 percent over the next couple of years.”
The results come in the wake of the country’s serious deficit in available housing for students, especially in Dublin. On top of this, the Irish government’s aggressive campaign to attract more foreign students is adding more pressure on the sector.
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What this has led to is an Ireland that is just too costly for university students. The study found two-thirds of overseas students felt the extra costs for accommodation made it difficult to finance their studies there.
But Ireland did much better on the discrimination front – only 12 percent of students said they faced problems with their international status, such as being charged higher rents or treated less friendly than local students.