Reading Passage 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions
1–14 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
The students’ problem
The college and university accommodation crisis in Ireland has become ‘so chronic’ that students are being forced to sleep rough,
share a bed with strangers – or give up on studying altogether.
(B.) The deputy president of the Union of Students in Ireland, Kevin Donoghue, said the problem has become particularly acute in Dublin. He told the Irish Mirror: “Students are so desperate, they’re not just paying through the nose to share rooms – they’re paying to share a bed with complete strangers. It reached crisis point last year and it’s only getting worse. “We’ve heard of students sleeping rough; on sofas, floors and in their cars and I have to stress there’s no student in the country that hasn’t been touched by this crisis. “Commutes – which would once have been considered ridiculous – are now normal, whether that’s by bus, train or car and those who drive often end up sleeping in their car if they’ve an early start the next morning.”
(C.) Worry is increasing over the problems facing Ireland's 200,000 students as the number increases over the next 15 years. With 165,000 full-time students in Ireland – and that figure expected to increase to around 200,000 within the next 15 years –fears remain that there aren’t enough properties to accommodate current numbers.
By Mr. Donoghue added: “The lack of places to live is actually forcing school-leavers out of college altogether. Either they don’t go in the first place or end up having to drop out because they can’t get a room and commuting is just too expensive, stressful and difficult.”
(E.) Claims have emerged from the country that some students have been forced to sleep in cars, or out on the streets, because of the enormous increases to rent in the capital. Those who have been lucky enough to find a place to live have had to do so ‘blind’ by paying for accommodation, months in advance, they haven’t even seen just so they will have a roof over their head over the coming year.
According to the Irish Independent, it’s the ‘Google effect’ which is to blame. As Google and other blue-chip companies open offices in and around Dublin’s docklands area, which are ‘on the doorstep of the city’, international professionals have been flocking to the area which will boast 2,600 more apartments, on 50 acres of undeveloped land, over the next three to 10 years.
(G.) Rent in the area soared by 15 per cent last year and a two-bedroom apartment overlooking the Grand Canal costs €2,100 (£1,500) per month to rent. Another two-bedroom apartment
at Hanover Dock costs €2,350 (almost £1,700) with a three-bedroom penthouse – measuring some 136 square metres – sits at €4,500 (£3,200) per month in rent.
Ireland’s Higher Education Authority admitted this was the first time they had seen circumstances ‘so extreme’ and the Fianna Fáil party leader, Michael Martin, urged on the Government to intervene. He said: “It is very worrying that all of the progress in opening up access to higher education in the last decade – particularly for the working poor – is being derailed because of an entirely foreseeable accommodation crisis.
Reading Passage 1 has ten paragraphs A-H.Which paragraph contains the following information?
Choose the most suitable paragraph headings from the list of headings and write the correct letter,
A-H, in boxes 1 - 8 on your answer sheet.
1. Cons of the commuting
2. Thing that students have to go through
3. Commutes have become common in Ireland nowadays
4. Danger of the overflow
5. Cause of the problems
6. Pricing data
8. Eyeless choice
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 9–14 on your answer sheet, write
True if the statement agrees with the in this
False if the statement contradicts the information
Not Given if there is no information on this
9. The accommodation problem in Ireland is especially bad in Dublin
10. Commutes are considered ridiculous
11. The number of students in Ireland is not likely to increase in the future
12. Due to the opening of the new offices around Dublin, the number of local restaurants
will go up significantly over the next 3 to 10 years.
13. The rent price went up by 15% this year.
14. Michael Martin stated that crisis could have been omitted if the government reacted properly.