Image: Tobi Olasupo
[Oliver Price | News Manager]
A recent survey commissioned by Trident Media has revealed that half of the 130 students surveyed, who live in on-campus accommodation, believe their accommodation is either “quite or very bad value for money.”
The survey also revealed that 40 per cent of respondents feel their accommodation to be of satisfactory value, while only 10 per cent believed their accommodation to be either “quite or very good value for money,” showing that the majority of students are underwhelmed with their living quarters and the price of rent.
This poll comes after the demolition of far less expensive accommodation (less than £100 a week compared to current average of over £130), such as Roberts Way and Butler Hall. The demolition of the less expensive accommodation has resulted in the lowest cost of on-campus accommodation currently being Telford Court, which currently costs over £5,250 for an academic year.
Research conducted by Trident Media has also revealed that the average rent costs for on-campus accommodation is over £6,000 for an entire renting period (including deposit).
The same research also concluded that a student from an average two-in-work parent background (£40,000 to £45,000 household income per year) pays at least 100 per cent of their maintenance loan towards rent and deposit to pay for the average cost of a room.
Cat Charker, a first year student studying Humanities and living in an “Enhanced” room on College Lane said:
“My accommodation is rather bad value for money. I pay twice the rent that I would living off campus in a house and yet have less space, less freedom and have worse facilities, services and fixtures.”
Rebecca Marsh, a third year Law and Philosophy student, who has previously lived in on-campus accommodation, said:
“The new housing… doesn’t give options. They have a lot of bells and whistles but realistically students don’t need all that. What they need is less to worry about when they’ve already got enough on their plates moving out and starting a degree. In a small town like Hatfield it’s not going to be as easy for students to get part time jobs.”
Trident Media approached the University of Hertfordshire but, at the time of publication, they did not make comment.
Hertfordshire Students’ Union are currently running their Campus Costs campaign, which is targeted at reducing the student costs on campus, including accommodation costs.
Grainne O’Monghain, Vice President of Democracy and Services, said:
“This is totally expected with the consistent rising cost of higher education and students are feeling the pinch not only in accommodation but in all areas of student life, so the want and even need for things to be cheaper is evident and increasing. The Union and NUS are consistently working tirelessly to help stop or reduce the cost of higher education, for example our priority campaign Campus Costs is surrounding this issue not only for accommodation but all costs to students.”
With students spending up to 100 per cent of their maintenance grants and loans on just their rent, they are left with less and less money for other things, such as course costs or having “the university experience.”
Many students are clearly unhappy with how much they have to pay for their rent, Hertfordshire Students’ Union has recognised this by launching their Campus Costs campaign to act as a voice for students struggling with the cost of university living.