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Freshers denied campus accommodation for first time in three years

Accommodation Services say there are "simply not enough rooms on campus to go round" in first room shortage since 2010.

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Photo Credit: Phillipa Grafton
Photo Credit: Phillipa Grafton

The University is struggling to provide hundreds of first year students with a room on campus for the first time since the 2010/11 academic year.

It has now been confirmed that 264 students have not been allocated with on-campus accommodation. This breaks down at 100 Langwith students in private accommodation off-campus, 120 Goodricke students at the Boulevard and 44 Langwith students split between Catherine House, and on Walmgate.

According to YUSU Welfare Officer, George Offer, these figures are direct from Accommodation Services but there may be further changes before students move in.

Offer added that the situation was "far from ideal" but YUSU would be "working hard for these students and come freshers week they'll be fully involved in college life."

A prospective fresher who would prefer to remain anonymous expressed their concern: "I don't know where I'm living. I was told I'd know 6th September latest and I still haven't been offered any accommodation. It's just constant delays after delays."

"You know how expensive Boulevard is. Being pocketed in Boulevard isnt exactly ideal - I know I wouldn't be able to afford it. In which case, what can you do? Nothing."

The University have since commented, "The en-suite rooms cost £127/week - the same price that applies to similar rooms on campus. We took the preferences of applications into account when allocating students. Students could choose to live elsewhere at a lower price."

The University had previously said it guaranteed campus accommodation for undergraduate freshers who applied before the 24th August.

At the start of Clearing Nouse reported that York had 140 courses available through the process, and an even higher number of places, which have filled up over the last few weeks.

In a statement on their blog, Accommodation Services said there were "simply not enough rooms on campus to go round".

They cited increased student numbers as the reason for the shortage: "The reason why it's taking us longer than usual is because we've had a much higher intake of students this year - which is of course really positive for students who have been successful in getting a place on a course here, but it also means that there are simply not enough rooms on campus to go around."

Information obtained exclusively by Nouse shows that this is the first year since at least 2010 that the University has filled out. The University is unable to give figures prior to 2010 when they were unable to accommodate 150 students, with about 120 students forced to take private sector accommodation for the full year.

YUSU President, Kallum Taylor said: "This situation is a pain; but not the end of the world. There are a whole host of challenges with engaging off-campus students anyway - let alone freshers - but we're doing our best."

"Aside from getting a commitment on bus provision from the University, we're also looking to make some other gestures too. For example, we've worked out an agreement with the Goodricke and Langwith JCRCs to give their off-campus freshers a free meal and a drink in the Glasshouse, and also free entry to all YUSU bars and JCRC on-campus events this year."

George Offer added: "This situation is far from ideal, puts a extra strain on the colleges and JCRCs involved who work very hard to build their communities, tough enough when they all live in one place. However given the situation as it is YUSU and the JCRCs are working hard for these students and come freshers week they'll be fully involved in college life. Once all these students has been placed all they will be receiving free bus passes from the University."

Comment: There is no excuse for Freshers' accommodation shortfall

This article was updated at 4.45pm on 10th September and 4:55 on 13th September to incorporate new information. The University has since commented that the vast majority of students have already received their contracts and the remaining few will receive theirs in the next few days. The University also provides assistance to students who are not covered by the guarantee."

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anonymous Posted on Monday 9 Sep 2013

'freshers denied campus accommodation' yet the university find it acceptable to cut freshers accommodation places in colleges in favor of postgrads. More postgrads, longer lets, more money, there's only one thing on the universities mind and it's not providing all fresher's a place to stay


David Levene Posted on Monday 9 Sep 2013

Very poor on the part of the University. This has happened simply because they accepted more places from clearing than they had bed spaces for in order to benefit financially. If there are "simply not enough rooms", either build more rooms, or not accept so many entries - it's not that hard.


@David Levene Posted on Tuesday 10 Sep 2013

Hello David,

Is that the official position of the Labour Party in York or just the rants of someone who, nearly four years on, hasn't yet let go of student life and student politics?

It's also a very, very simplistic view aswell - clearly demonstrating how little you understand of how complex and open to chance the University offers system is. It's not as simple as having 4/5,000 places and making that many offers...


@@David Levene Posted on Tuesday 10 Sep 2013

Rather than trolling him, why don't you put up some suggestions of your own. As the local councillor for this area surely he has the right to have a say when his constituents are being let down.

Having met David and knowing him well, I can say there is no better councillor, and I and many others are very happy he got elected


Unhoused_fresher Posted on Tuesday 10 Sep 2013

Panicking about not being able to fill up campus accommodation and offering 2nd/3rd years a PS100 incentive to stay on campus would have maybe eased up the situation, maybe.

Further, charging students of all people, PS100 just for the grand privilege of releasing their on campus spot is also probably not such a great idea too.


David Levene Posted on Wednesday 11 Sep 2013

It's not York Labour Party's view, just mine. I'm always surprised when people tell me what's happening on campus is nothing to do with me, given that I represent the 4000-odd students living there.

My point is the University intentionally flies close to the wind with their places to bedspaces ratio, and this is what happens when that goes wrong.

I accept what Kallum and others are saying that this isn't the end of the world - it isn't, though largely because YUSU and the colleges will make it work rather than anything the Uni will do. I also have friends who work in the accommodation office and I know how hard they're working, but the situation these students have been put in really isn't good enough and I'm not afraid of saying so!


Donald Donaldson Posted on Wednesday 11 Sep 2013

I think one of the funnier aspects of the whole situation is that the Freshers that've been forced to live off-campus couldn't have been put into Goodricke and Langwith - the colleges furthest away from them, literally a mile away.


@anonymous Posted on Tuesday 17 Sep 2013

Don't bash postgrads. They actually take their degree seriously, unlike a worryingly large percentage of feckless undergrads. I bet you that at least a quarter of the freshers currently bitching about accommodation will in two months time be complaining about it's *so* difficult to make 9am lectures after a Willow night.