Credit: Johnny Briggs via Unsplash

Glasgow University was blindsided by student housing crisis

By Jordan Hunter

Recent freedom of information requests that the University did not collect data on student housing prior to the start of this year.

A freedom of information request, sent on behalf of The Glasgow Guardian, has revealed that the University did not conduct any surveys or studies in advance of the housing crisis. Some have accused the University of not properly preparing for the large intake of first years and the lack of available housing for other students. 

University Court minutes show the University was aware of this year’s large intake of students as early as June with a report on Covid which stated: “Current projections suggest that the September intake will be very strong and will achieve the growth projected in the budget.” While the report discussed additional teaching staff as a result of increased intake, the report made no mentions of additional halls. 

Additionally, the University has touted a new partnership with a private accommodation provider City Room Rental, stating in an email earlier this year: “City Room Rentals will house your reservation under this partnership, and we would like to assure you that you will be allocated a room together with other University of Glasgow students.” However, it has since been found that the University has no contract with City Room Rentals, making these assurances legally unenforceable. 

The lack of a formal arrangement appears to be a failure on the University’s part to live up to its guarantee of housing for all first year and international students as the University would have no control over the number of Glasgow students City Room Rentals accepts, and to insinuate otherwise would be false. A request for comment regarding the University’s assurances from City Room Rentals was requested by The Glasgow Guardian, but the provider has yet to respond. 


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