Bath gets glory from The Guardian, but is shamed by students for rent rises

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In the latest edition of The Guardian University Guide, the University of Bath has been ranked as the 5th best university in the United Kingdom – up from 10th place in the same league table last year.

In total, 13 subjects taught by the University were placed in the top 10 for their subject area.

Students at Bath have praised the University for this achievement, with many sharing the news across social media.

However, students also continue to criticise University officials for pressing ahead with inflation-busting rent rises which will apply to all 4,200 students living in University halls next year.

The average rent increase is 5.5%, ranging from 3.3-10.8% across the array of University owned accommodation available on campus and in the city.

Following a campaign led by the Students’ Union, more than 3,500 students signed a petition calling on the University’s Finance Committee to reconsider its decision.

Lucy Woodcock, President of the Students’ Union at the University of Bath, said: “We’re proud that our University has been recognised by The Guardian for the excellent educational experience that students receive here.

“But we’re dismayed that the University continues to press ahead with a rent hike that will pile further debts on students looking to come to the University later this year.

“Not one of the students who signed the petition would benefit from a change of heart by the University, but they know better than any, the financial pressures of being a student and have made their voices heard.

“Although an offer to bring down the average increase to 4.9% was made to us by the University, we really don’t feel like the University has done enough to address this significant issue.

“We feel like the legitimate concerns’ of students are falling on deaf ears, whilst the University continues to generate high surpluses.

“The University deserves its recognition in The Guardian, but seriously risks damaging its reputation when it comes to its approach to accommodation prices”.

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Alisha Lobo is News & Comment Editor at bathimpact (2015/16). She writes about international politics and society. She is a reporter on University of Bath issues, including education and the Students' Union.

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