It hardly comes as a surprise to see evidence that the University is expanding. As a relatively small institution, and with demand for places in Higher Education going through the roof, a gradual increase in student numbers is the logical conclusion.
What is more alarming is the unprecedented rate of expansion. Almost 500 more students admitted, than originally projected or accounted for shows yet again the University prioritising profit over benefits to the student body. As the accommodation crisis faced by freshers at the beginning of the academic year showed, York is still lacking in the facilities and space to accommodate this over-expanding student body. The new Langwith accommodation planned will do little to ease the pressure of an extra 450 students that were not originally accounted for, only two years ago. The University is simply not prepared, and means that those who arrive next year will inevitably be faced with resources and facilities spread so thin that the whole system and student experience suffers.
York benefits as a University from being small and community-focused, in comparison to the mammoth city Universities against which we compete. It is one of our redeeming factors, which keeps us competitive in the face of institutions on a similar academic par. With campus already expanding into the far corners of Heslington East, the University is clearly making provisions for increased student numbers. However, as the figures show, not till 2015 will York be ready for a 12,800 strong student body, and until then they should bear in mind that bigger is not always better.