The United Kingdom has consistently observed an increasing graph of rising rents for student accommodation over the years, stressing the air around for the International students planning to shortlist the United Kingdom as their study abroad destination. As per a recent New Student Accommodation Costs Survey conducted by Unipol and the National Union of Students claims that the purpose-built student accommodation (PSBA) in the UK has reached a mark of £7,374 in 2021/22 with a 4.4 increase on last year rental prices and 16% on pre-covid levels.
Private Sectors are stepping up by hosting around 30,000 students in a year, taking the title of- Main provider of the PSBA. However one cannot fail to notice how the educational institutes lack similar support and remain static. The annual rent for students pursuing education outside London is £6,707, accounting for 72 percent of the maximum student loan of £9,488. It uses up to 88 percent of the maximum student loan in London, leaving students with just £38 each week.
- In the most expensive cities, intervention may be required to aid the families who are unable to meet their other living expenses.
- Private providers are increasing in popularity, thus the universities are relying on them to keep their word to the first-year students. Universities and private partners must collaborate more than ever before to share responsibility for the welfare of the students.
The difference between private beds used by universities, which cost around £7,059, and private beds directly let (£8,002) is significantly important in establishing and maintaining strong relations with private providers, as per the recent survey report. Universities select accommodation that meets both their needs and ensure accommodation guarantee by selecting standard en-suite rooms.
The NUS’s vice-president for higher education, Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, quoted “Student accommodation affordability has a significant impact on students’ educational experiences as well as access and engagement. It’s a shame that so many young people are priced out of university, either because they are discouraged or unwilling to apply, or because their options are severely constrained by where they can afford to live.”
Some findings of the survey
- Students pay £166 per week for rent in all purpose-built stock types and providers in the year 2021/2022.
- Survey participants claimed that the contract lengths are associated with private providers resulting in the tendencies being shortened by one, two, or three weeks or quite possibly remain the same.
In the face of the pandemic, 29% of private providers have offered rent cuts, while 41% have offered incentives like vouchers and cashback. The university sector on the other hand claimed how 84 percent said they had not adjusted their pricing strategies. In the meantime, when it came to refunds, universities were more willing in comparison to the private holders.
R29 and Vice joined the NUS in supporting the Support Students Now campaign, which called for all students to be provided rent refunds during the Covid-19 outbreak when many were forced to pay for rooms they couldn’t live in. The campaign also demands that the government reinstate maintenance funds for low-income students.
Ending the article on an optimistic tone, we hope that considerable steps are taken to provide relief schemes to students unable to afford to live amidst challenging situations prevailed by the worldwide global pandemic.