THAT’S MAD: £5 for every meal as campus accommodation prices soar


Students living in the cheapest catered accommodation on campus will see prices increase by a whopping £630 in 2016/17. 

This is a massive increase on previous years – based on the cheapest accommodation, in 2013/14 the catering charge works out at only £2.93 per meal, and in the current year 2015/16, the charge was £3.30. 

The upcoming changes have been blasted by students: “it would put returners off… only 1/6 [of my flatmates] are coming back to catered next year” said Mati Caldwell, first year History and English student. 

The price of catered accommodation now includes a £500 per team Meals in Advance (MAD) card for accommodation across the board drastically increasing the price of the cheapest accommodation. 

In previous years, the catering charge had been the difference in price between the catered accommodation and self-catered accommodation, with the MAD card being an optional extra for those in self-catered accommodation. 

Those in the more expensive accommodation were not as badly hit as catering already cost those students £476 per term. 

The changes mean that students across the board will shell out £5 for every catered meal.  

The catering card will still only provide students with breakfast and dinner on weekdays, meaning  they are expected to provide their own meals at lunch and on the weekend. 

This means students in catered accommodation spend £50 a week on food – and then have to spend MORE on meals between breakfast and dinner and over the weekend. 

According to the 2014 Living Costs and Food Survey, produced by the Office for National Statistics, the poorest 20% of one adult non-retired households spends an average of only £32.10 a week on food, and a further £10.80 on alcoholic drinks, tobacco and narcotics. 

University Registrar and Secretary David Duncan said that “we believe student accommodation on campus continues to represent very good value for money.” 

The changes come into effect the same year as the abolishment of maintenance grant by the UK government to be replaced by further loans.

Matt Burton, Head of Accommodation explained the changes: “The economy price band was adjusted to include an additional 240 rooms.”

1 Comment

  1. The Bishop of Heslington
    26 April 2016 - 21:41 BST

    In light of recent scandals I can no longer offer students a free meal at the Bishop’s Palace, however I can recommend pretty much any food outlet in York, and indeed some on campus, which do food cheaper than the MAD refectories.

    I hope the University will now completely divorced catered meals from accommodation type, so as to maximise the free will of students and stop 100s being forced to pay this ridiculous poll tax when they could cheaply cook for themselves.

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