Third-level students from across the country are protesting today outside the Dáil, and some will sleep out overnight to highlight the accommodation crisis, which they claim is worse than ever.

Thousands of students are sleeping on couches, paying to stay in hotels or hostels, or deferring their college course for a year due to the severe shortage of student accommodation.

Student unions - not only in Dublin but at colleges across the country - are reporting a massive increase in the number on waiting lists for accommodation, or who need help with finding private property to rent.

The Government's handling of student accommodation provision has been "an abject failure" according to Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh.

The Sinn Fein spokesperson on Higher Education is calling for a new strategy to prioritise the delivery of publicly-owned and affordable student accommodation, which would end an over-reliance on the private sector.

Deputy Conway-Walsh has been speaking with Midwest Radio's John Morley about the crisis in student housing.