Students Launch Investigation into Accomodation Prices at the University

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YORK STUDENT Think Tank has launched an investigation into on-campus accommodation prices at the university. The Think Tank wants students to complete a survey about their satisfaction with: the quality of on-campus accommodation; what their thoughts are on the rent costs; and how university accommodation should cater to the student body.

The aim of the survey is to ensure that students have their voices heard regarding on-campus accommodation. Paula Balic from the Think Tank said: “So far from the responses we’ve gotten, 78% of students don’t think they’re getting value for money. University’s rent prices go up every year, yet the quality of the accommodation stays the same.

The university seems to come up with new ways to profit off of students, for example making most of the blocks catered, when 81% of our respondents have said they prefer self-catered accommodation. There’s clearly a problem and this is why more and more students are opting to live off-campus – 67% have said they’ve not considered on-campus accommodation as a possible option.”

The University of York is about average for accommodation prices nationally,but has recently come under fire from YUSU presidential candidates for failing to provide enough economy accommodation. Anger at the failure of universities to provide affordable accommodation for students has increased in recent years, the 2015 NUS Unipol Accommodation Costs Survey found that 48% per cent of institutions had no policy on providing affordable accommodation for their students.

The study also found that although the University of York is located in a region with lower rents than many parts of the country, around 90% of its accommodation lay within the considerably high £120-150 and £150-200 bands, suggesting that the university should perhaps provide a broader range of accommodation prices in order to ensure all students are catered for.

YUSU president elect Alex Urquhart, commented that: “Rising accommodation prices is a real concern for students, but premium accommodation is only being built because students are asking for it when choosing their accommodation. When students are making the move from school to university, there is a lot of uncertainty and, quite understandably, they often feel that a double bed and an en-suite will help them settle in.

“Once they’re at university, however, these luxuries become less of a priority. To stop the building of more expensive accommodation, we need convincing data that suggests students don’t actually want it. If we collected more data after students have had some time at university, we may have a stronger argument for building more economy accommodation. Until the students stop asking for premium accommodation, it will continue to be built.”