The University of Limerick has been criticised for a proposal for on-campus accommodation that includes the provision of twin rooms that were originally single occupancy rooms.

The president of the Union of Students in Ireland has said it is impossible to see how students would live or study in the conditions proposed by UL management.

The University of Limerick has told students entering second and third year that they will only be able to apply for a twin room for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Seán O'Rourke, Lorna Fitzpatrick said a second bed is being added into what was originally a single occupancy room.

She added that the university accommodation is assigned according to a lottery-based system, so students may not know the person they could be sharing a room with.

"The phrase 'you couldn't swing a cat in the room' doesn't even cover it. There is a tiny gap in between two single beds and one small work station at the foot of the bed, so it's impossible to see how you could live comfortably or study in these conditions," said Ms Fitzpatrick.

"It is important to note that an awful lot of these rooms at universities around the country are assigned on a lottery-based system, so you don't necessarily know the person that you will be sharing a room with, especially in these conditions."

Ms Fitzpatrick said universities are increasing student numbers without proper planning in place for affordable and suitable accommodation.

She said students will be "forced into taking this accommodation, in cramped conditions, because they can't afford anything else".

Ms Fitzpatrick added that these recent proposals will put students "under extreme pressure" as they are already experiencing "an average 3% to 4% increase in rental cost".

That is the maximum rental increase that can be imposed under rent pressure zone rules applied across the country.

It had previously been reported that students would have the option to double up in a twin room to reduce their costs.

However, this proposal suggests that second and third year students will no longer be able to apply for a single room.