The University of York have agreed to reduce the prices of 350 rooms across campus to £99 per week for accommodation.
On top of that, at least 90 of those rooms will cost £139 per week because of mandatory catering.
In the 2020/21 academic year, the University has promised that 260 rooms in St Lawrence Square, Halifax College, will be reduced to £99 per week. York has also promised that 92 rooms in Fairfax House, Vanbrugh College, will also be reduced to £99 per week for the room.
However, with the rooms in Fairfax House being catered accommodation, the actual price for these rooms will be £139 per week to students.
The University’s website says that for a 40 week period, the total cost of the new Fairfax House prices will set a student back £5,560 per year, which is still higher than the minimum maintainance loan of £4,289, leaving the cheapest catered accommodation still unaffordable for some students.
On top of this, with the total number of rooms available for students on campus being more than 6000, according to the University’s own accomodation services, the negotiations between YUSU, the GSA and the University has resulted in just 5% of rooms on campus being reduced.
When approached for comment by York Vision, Hayle said ” This first set of reductions is a small but symbolic development. and I hope it will be a stepping stone in far greater and more impactful changes in the future”.
When asked about any further plans on reducing prices for more rooms, Hayle said “the next rent setting process for the 2021/22 academic year will start soon, during which I will be lobbying for further cost cuts/freezes across a wider variety of rooms/colleges.
“The University is historically very resistant to change, particularly when it impacts their finances. But my hope is that they can increase this first batch of rooms successfully, they can apply similar changes to other rooms across campuses”.
For now, it is unclear which colleges are planning on reducing their rents, or whether they will at all in the 2021/22 academic year.
Featured image by YUSU