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University accommodation price hike to affect living costs of students

Written on:November 9, 2023
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Undergraduates are feared to remain out of university accommodation due to rising costs of student accommodation

Student accommodation in universities has doubled in just 10 years, amidst growing fears over student debt levels, according to a student union report. The rise in university accommodation prices is likely to place many undergraduates out of university accommodation altogether, as the basic student loan of £5,000 is barely enough to cover living costs such as rent, and other overheads such as food, travel and books.

Figures of National Union of Students (NUS) survey show that the average weekly rent in university-owned student accommodation has surged from £59.17 in 2001-2002 to £117.67 in 2011-12, increased by 97%. The survey figures show that the most expensive university flats in London cost £415 a week or around £1,800 a month – far higher than the average mortgage in the capital.

The funding lacunae would have to be met with a combination of family support, part-time work, savings and scholarships for the poorest students. The news of rise in student accommodation fees in universities comes in addition to the introduction of tuition fees of up to £9,000-a-year for the first time this autumn in move that forces to land students with average debts topping £50,000.

Despite deepening of economic crisis, the research, which was based on student accommodation across the UK, found that student accommodation prices have sky-rocketed in the past three years alone. Average rents across university-owned and private halls have increased by 25% since 2009, which represents a rise from £98.99 to £123.96 a week, or £5,244.04 a year.

Pete Mercer, NUS vice-president, said, “The responsibility of universities to support their students does not begin and end at the doors of the lecture hall. University heads should urgently be looking at properly planning accommodation supply and capping rent increases to ensure students are not priced out of living in halls.”

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