On campus accommodation fees are set to rise by five per cent next year, across all rent bands, with catered accommodation seeing a dramatic increase.
In real terms catered accommodation prices will increase by an average of £10 a week, taking figures from 2010.
Students have complained about the imminent rise. Fiona Kitchingham, a first-year Sociology student, said: “It is because it’s university halls, you will pay whatever they ask. As long as the loan covers it you don’t really think about it.”
David Garner, the University Press Officer, said: “The University’s proposed rent increases are broadly in line with inflation. The cost of catered accommodation has been increased to reflect the costs of providing food following the initial trial in the current academic year.”
Charlie Barrington, a first-year Environmental Science student commented: “The rise is going to put even more stress on students and their families, and mean less available money for joining clubs and societies. As well, there is an increase in pressure to have to find a job.”
The estimated average price of catered accommodation in York will be just under £110 for the years 2012/13.
The accommodation for Band 1 (catered) for the year 2010/11 is at £99.82, however, in the following academic year rent will rise to £109.90 – which means that the cheapest catered accommodation will rise by £10.
Ben Humphrys, now YUSU Academic Affairs Officer, last year stated only the “cheapest rent band” would be subjected to rises, inevitably meaning students less financially well-off would be hardest hit by the increase. Humphrys claimed the university would be “increasing revenue” at the expense of students.
James College’s cheapest accommodation is also set to become catered next year.
“It is because it’s university halls, you will pay whatever they ask“
First-year Sociology student
Investment towards a refurbishment programme, including Le Page court, Vanbrugh, has been cited as another reason why the University has made this increase.
However, this refurbishment is over the next five years, rather than the following year, meaning most students will pay an increased rent with no tangible benefits.
Those most affected will be students arriving in the year 2012/13. These students may also be the first wave to pay the full £9,000 tuition fees, should the University decide to follow the trend set by other similarly rated institutions.
As yet, the University has refused to comment on how much they plan to charge for 2012/13 when Langwith move to Heslington East. The cheapest room in the current accommodation on the new campus development next year will cost £111.86 per week.
The rent increase between rent bands has also raised concern that this will increase segregation between richer students and those who are less well off.
Laura Borisvaite, YUSU Welfare Officer, commented that: “The University should ensure that students receive value for money and those with financial difficulties have easily understood access to grants and bursaries to ensure that they can attend University.”