Credit: Kimberly Mannion

Homeless students still in hotels

By Odhran Gallagher

The University continues to house students who cannot secure accommodation elsewhere in hotels.

Students at the University of Glasgow who have been unable to secure accommodation for the current academic years are being housed by the University in hotels. A policy first reported on by The Glasgow Guardian, in September which was then concerning 30 students, the University says that: “placing students in hotels is continuing as a duty to care for those in emergency need”. 

The University has been paying to place students in hotels around Glasgow for one week at a time as a temporary measure before attempting to house them in more permanent accommodation. 

The Glasgow Guardian spoke to a student who had been recently housed in a hotel for a two week period. Neve McLean is a second year student who had nowhere to stay at the beginning of this year. After speaking with the University’s advice team and mentioning the reports of students staying in hotels, Neve was offered a room in a Premier Inn for two weeks:

“They sent me a voucher with my booking and it had a date two weeks from now where my booking ends. But at the end of that I’m going to ask them to extend the stay if I have nowhere else to go.”

Although, the hotel was far from an ideal place to stay: “At the Premier Inn, I have to pay £7 for 24 hours of WIFI, so I’ve had to email the Uni and ask them to financially compensate me for that, because for two weeks of wifi it’s going to cost me £98 – which I can’t afford. And there are also no kitchen facilities so I’ve also had to ask for money for food because I can’t live off takeaways and pot noodles for a week”.

During her hotel stay, Neve received an email from the University with an offer of a room in a 3-person-flat which was a 15-minute walk from the main campus.The room was going to cost £640 a month, according to the email: “is heavily subsidised and is comparable with the rates we are charging students in University managed accommodation.”

This room would only be available for rent until 10 January 2023. The email stated that “if you also require accommodation for the second semester, we hope we will be able to offer you an alternative room”. 

In response to growing pressure from students, the University released a statement on its social media on Monday 3 October, advising students who are in need of emergency accommodation to contact the University for support. 

As thread first posted on the University’s official Twitter read: “As the academic year commences, we know that students continue to face challenges looking to secure long-term accommodation in Glasgow…If you are in Glasgow and require emergency accommodation, please visit our Fraser Building (Level 2) between 9am-4pm Monday to Friday so we can provide direct support and immediate help.” The post made reference to a “citywide accommodation shortage”. 

When approached by The Glasgow Guardian for comment on housing students in hotels the University said: “As part of our efforts, we have increased the number of rooms under University management by 25 per cent for this academic year. We have focused – as is our usual policy – on providing accommodation to first-year undergraduate students who live at a significant distance from our campus. There has been no significant increase in student numbers this year.

The University does assure students that they are “working with any student placed in emergency hotel accommodation to help them find a permanent solution.”


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