O'Dowd backs students call for ending of ‘unfair’ rental agreements
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Higher and Further Education John O'Dowd has backed calls from the NUS-USI for landlords to end unfair rental agreements and for additional financial support.
The Upper Bann MLA said:
"Students are paying for an education below the standard they expected and, in many cases, for rental accommodation they do not need.
“While the Executive and Assembly hasn't the power to terminate these contracts, the Department for Economy must do more to support students.
"On a weekly basis, I have been calling on the minister to relax the Hardship Fund criteria and to make bids to support students either through a reimbursement of their tuition fees or through support for rental payments.
“During today's Question Time I will again raise these issues with the minister.
“The minister and her department must urgently heed these calls and support our students who have suffered financially, mentally and academically over the course of this pandemic.”