Campus rents have seen a successive increase in the past five years with concerns raised by some over private involvement. One second year student told Nouse: “I’m incredibly concerned at the fact that the Uni seem to have sold off future rents in order to pay for new buildings”. 20 new buildings have been built on Hes West since 2000, as well as the first and second phases of a £750m campus expansion on Hes East. While Hes East has always been priced higher, given their better facilities, Hes West has always offered a cheaper and more affordable option. The accumulating rise of costs on campus, though, has begun to raise questions as to whether this will continue to be viable. The cheapest room available currently is in Halifax at £106 per week, however in contrast, James offers the most at £173 a week.
University Registrar, David Duncan, explained further: “we will continue to assess affordability of student accommodation annually in the Rents Group, which includes student representatives. The Rents Group then advises the University Executive Board, which determines rents for the subsequent year.
While some of the on-campus accommodation is run in partnership with external providers, the University essentially sets the rents for all college accommodation.”
This was reiterated by YUSU President Millie Beach: “YUSU is aware that the financial pressure on students in 2016 is substantial – rising living costs, rent prices, and fees all add up and mean that the average undergrad leaves uni with over £50 000 worth of debt. To this end, we have worked productively with the University to make provisions to ensure that prices are kept as low as possible. While we understand the need to increase capacity, we encourage the University to ensure that an affordable range of accommodation is central to campus’s ontinued expansion.”