Recent changes to University halls accommodation prices have been announced by Campus Services. Student experience, value for money and both the availability of accommodation for under £100 per week and within the student loan allowance have been taken into account by the new tariffs proposed.
These new changes will result in the rates on 709 bed spaces increasing by 2 per cent, a 3 per cemt increase in the price of 2086 bed spaces, another 729 bed spaces will have their cost raised by 3.56 per cent and finally 1454 bed spaces will increase by 4.56 per cent.
After a steady rise in price over a number of years, a catered en-suite room in Holland Hall will now set new undergraduates back £208.32 a week, an increase of £6.09 from the 2013-14 fees, whilst should students wish to stay in these same halls with an added view, the weekly rate will be £218.40. Other catered halls have also suffered price increases, including Mardon Hall, in which a twin room will now cost students £148.26, up from £143.92 in the last academic year; an en-suite room in Birks Grange Village which previously cost £196.84 will now join Holland in the ranks of halls costing over £200 with the 2014-15 fees set at £202.79. A catered standard room in Exeter Halls will cost students £159.67 increasing by £4.62.
Kitty Howie, a third year English student said: “I believe the phenomenal cost of living encourages a certain kind of student to come to Exeter and many individuals will not wish to or be able to afford to come to university here. With fees now at £9000, to pay £218.40 a week for accommodation will result in tens of thousands of pounds of student debt and many maintenance loans don’t even cover some of the lower accommodation costs”.
Self-catered halls have also been affected by the changes from Campus Services. The cheapest halls now available from the University – many of which are off campus such as St David’s – will cost £99.82 a week in contrast to last year’s lowest price of £97.86. Lafrowda’s standard rooms which in 2013-14 were priced alongside other halls at £97.86 will now cost students £102.34. Off campus accommodation James Owen Court offers single en-suite rooms at £122.36, increasing by £2.38.
Hannah Barton, Guild President has commented that: “As in previous years, the sabbatical officers were consulted by Campus Services in the process of setting the rent tariff for the next academic year. As the cost of living continues to rise, it is more important than ever that students are represented in this process and I am pleased that rent will be increased by less than inflation on just over half of the University accommodation portfolio. I am now in discussion with senior University staff to negotiate additional funding support for students from low income backgrounds taking up University accommodation”.
Whilst a University spokesperson has said of the price rises that: “the University has worked closely with the Students’ Guild to ensure that there are a range of accommodation types available at varying contract lengths and rents, which are as affordable as possible for 2014/15. Last year we were delighted to be able to freeze the rent costs for a number of residences, however as we move forwards into 2014/15 it has not been financially viable to freeze for another year. The University is pleased to confirm however that all increases have been kept to a minimum where possible. 56 percent of accommodation has increased by only 3 percemt or less and 9 percemt of self-catered accommodation is available for less than £100 per week. The University will be encouraging students to look at the length of their contracts and total costs for their accommodation when considering their accommodation choices for 2014/15. The University offers a choice of contract lengths – therefore allowing our students greater flexibility.”
Campus Services’ new prices for university accommodation will be implemented from this September for the academic year 2014/15. Both new and returning students wishing to live in University halls, on or off campus, will be charged at this higher rate.
Emily Tanner, Deputy Editorbookmark me