The student representative council has released an open letter calling the University’s plan to raise rent in University-owned student accommodation by 9.5%, calling the increase a “shocking imposition”. The rise in rent was, according to the SRC letter, brought on by the University benchmarking its rent prices against those of privately owned accommodations- which typically have higher rent.
In the letter, the SRC goes on to say that they fail to see the justification for such an increase, especially while the University is operating in a financial surplus. They also make note of the fact that the University has ignored several previous attempts to open up communication surrounding the effects that the current cost of living crisis may have on students.
The main points that the SRC is asking for are more meaningful consultation between the SRC and the University concerning rent for the following years, in addition to establishing a group consisting of both SRC and Senior management representatives that would meet periodically to discuss rent changes for that year.
The SRC also implored the University to consider several additional points, including the strain that the increase would put on students receiving SAAS payments in the wake of possible cuts to the income, as well as the possibility of increasing affordability pressures as more international students and home students from low-income backgrounds enter the University.