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Food and Housing Insecurity in University Students

Food and Housing Insecurity in University Students


Our challenge

Post-COVID and recent geo-political factors, including a rise in cost of living, gentrification and associated rent costs, time to travel to university; and more recent examples of health/climate/cyber disaster-mitigation, now means that universities have become centres of excellence leading out research, policy and practice in supporting resilient communities. Notwithstanding this positive trend, there is a concerning rise in both food, fuel (heat) and housing insecurity in our Irish university students, also reflected more globally. The rise in food banks, sofa-surfing, commuting and missing meals are behavioural markers of more acute and chronic ‘presses’ that deplete student resiliency.

Study format
Application period
13 April – 7 June 2023
Study period
15 June – 15 June 2023
Volume of learning

1 Hours

No ECTS will be awarded

Hosting university
Dublin City University
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Learning outcomes

Learning Outcome 1

Collaborate with other participants to produce a potential solution


Learning Outcome 2

Apply the Hackathon format using a range of paper-based and digital tools to pitch an idea


Learning Outcome 3

To critically think about how design thinking can help advance ideas for societal challenges


Potential progress

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University students are facing uncertainty in terms of basic needs and amenities with the rise in housing, food and travel costs as a result of the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape. This challenge aims to take a closer look at the factors affecting accessibility to safe and affordable housing, food, and transport and allow students to explore possible solutions that could be implemented at scale within local and global contexts. 

The Challenge

This challenge will focus on addressing one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11). It will give the students a chance to explore a wide variety of real-world issues - How do food and housing insecurity impact student resilience? How can we boost resilience in the student community? What does this look like for diverse student groups? What role can a university play in supporting resilience within its own community? This challenge seeks to come up with student-based solutions to these types of essential questions.

This 2-hour design sprint will guide students through a Hackathon-format to collaboratively identify potential solutions to addressing the challenge.

Hosting university

Dublin City University

Dublin City University

Challenge provider

DCU School of Psychology