Housing crisis

The first years were left without seats in the halls before the end

Some University of West England students have been offered accommodation in Wales

Freshmen from several UK universities have been told to look elsewhere for accommodation as halls of residence are already full.

With weeks to go, new undergraduates from the University of Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and the University of West England (UWE) have been refused university accommodation.

Some UWE students have been offered accommodation in Newport, Wales, about an hour from their Bristol campus.

In the past, the University of Bristol has also sent students to live in Wales, while the University of York has hosted students in Hull.

With more and more students attending university each year, the pressure on university accommodation and privately rented properties has increased.

On August 18 (A-level results day), 426,000 students made offers at UK universities and thousands more were looking for places on Clearing.

Critics accuse universities of offering places to students without any plan to house them.

A parent of a UWE student told the Financial Times: ‘It’s outrageous for them to accept applicants for leave knowing they couldn’t provide accommodation.’

UWE confirmed that following a “high volume of applications”, 533 students were still waiting for university accommodation.

The university has offered some students places in Newport, Wales, promising to pay for their travel costs to Bristol.

A UWE spokesperson said: “Bristol has become an increasingly popular city to live.

“This, combined with the growing demand for university places and the rising cost of living, has put further pressure on our housing and the rental market.”

Jim Dickinson writes a higher education blog called WonkHE and says, “If there’s a shortage of student housing, you can tackle supply or you can have tough conversations about demand.”

National Union of Students for Higher Education Vice President Chloe Field said: “As universities increasingly sell off their housing stock and wash their hands of their duty to their own students, we are of course seeing predatory private providers stepping in to fill the void.”

Feature image: Shutterstock / John B Hewitt (modified)

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