Students at the University of Bath have been left “frustrated and annoyed” after the University’s governing Council decided to support the Finance Committee’s decision to increase student accommodation by an inflation-busting average of 5.5% next year.
Nearly 3,500 students at the University signed a petition calling on the Finance Committee to reconsider its decision. A decision that means only 8 per cent of the available bed stock at the University of Bath is available for less than 50% of the maximum maintenance loan.
The National Union of Students recommends that at least 25 per cent of University-owned accommodation is available at this price.
Last Tuesday, to attempt to head off the campaign, the University acknowledged the impact this increase will have by offering some concessions on around a fifth of its housing stock.
Even with these concessions, however, rent at the University of Bath will increase by an average of 4.6 per cent, well above the rate of inflation, adding further financial pressure on students facing increased tuition fees next year.
Speaking after the Council meeting, Lucy Woodcock, President of the Students’ Union, said: “The University’s attempted concessions do not go far enough and its planned rent hike will heap further debts on students looking to come to the University of Bath this year.
“A number of Council members recognised the impact these rent prices will have on students and called on the University to come up with a long term plan to avoid applying further increases on students in years to come.
“The University chooses to ring-fence its accommodation and hospitality budget whilst pouring millions into its reserves. The next item on the Council agenda was about a multi-million investment in a lavish new management school on campus.
“I, like many students, have been left feeling both frustrated and annoyed about the Council’s refusal to budge on this issue.
“We are calling on them to provide more clarity over its ring-fencing policy, and will urge them to work with students and the Students’ Union to prevent this kind of price-hike happening in future years.”