The University accommodated an additional 237 returners on campus compared to last year, despite the fact hundreds of freshers were forced to live off campus due to a lack of space.
Information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveals that in 2012/13 428 students returned to university accommodation in their second or third year, compared to 675 this year.
The University struggled to provide students with a room on campus for the first time since the 2010/11 academic year.
A University spokesman commented, “Based on projected recruitment levels and in view of additional capacity in new Langwith College, we planned to accommodate more upper year students in University accommodation.
“It has been University policy for several years to attract more second and third year students to live on campus to help create broader communities within our colleges.
“The additional recruitment of students through clearing led to a shortfall of accommodation this year. Nevertheless, students who met our guarantee did not have to find accommodation in the city themselves.
“We identified a range of properties in the private sector and honoured our guarantee first-year students to provide places in University-managed accommodation.”
Due to a lack of rooms for on campus accommodation, 264 freshers were forced to live off campus across York city. Many students were given the option to stay at the expensive Boulevard as a last resort, which charges premium prices of £130 per week.
A prospective fresher, who preferred to remain anonymous at the time, expressed the desperateness of the situation: “You know how expensive Boulevard is. Being pocketed in Boulevard isn’t exactly ideal – I know I wouldn’t be able to afford it. In which case, what can you do? Nothing.”
In total, 120 Goodricke students were housed at the Boulevard, 100 Langwith students in private accommodation off-campus, and 44 Langwith students were split between Catherine House, and on Walmgate.
The university blamed the accommodation shortfall on an increase in clearing places offered this year, which saw a much higher intake of students at York.
The higher intake of students also led to a huge backlog of accommodation requests, causing the university’s systems to crash. At one point, only 45 students could submit their application in two hours.
The statistics also show the University accommodated 83 continuing postgraduates, an additional 7 postgraduates compared to last year.
In total, the University accommodated 4563 guaranteed students either off or on-campus, compared to 4448 guaranteed students the year before.
In response to the shortfall, YUSU have secured free bus travel for all freshers who are living outside of campus.
The deal permits free travel on either the Unibus number 44 or SB1 buses for first years living in the The Boulevard or Catherine House, as long as they met the accommodation guarantee deadline.