Here at Hertfordshire Students’ Union we know how important it is for students’ to receive a good deal while at University. Coming to University is a major investment in time, money and dedication and that’s why we work hard every day to make sure your getting true value out of your time at here at Hertfordshire.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been meeting with the University of Hertfordshire and U Living over a proposed increase in the cost of on-campus accommodation. I have previously successfully lobbied the University to reduce the proposed increase in accommodation prices for 2016.17 from over 7% to 3.9%, collectively saving students living in halls this year tens of thousands of pounds.
Earlier this month U-Living, the provider of accommodation on College Lane, announced their plans to increase their rent prices in Bellingham, Maclean, Newton, Schofield, Spalding and Telford. The increase, proposed at 2.3%, appears to be considerably higher than the current expected rate of inflation. I have responded to U-Living and the University of Hertfordshire, insisting the increase in unjust and unfair. I have recommended that the increase fall in-line with the expected rate of inflation, demanding that cost of living on campus next year not be higher than a 2% increase on current prices.
Because of this, the University have now requested that U-living only increase prices for accommodation on College Lane by 1.9% (in line with a rate of inflation at 1.5% with added depreciation costs). While this is an improvement on the previously proposed 2.3% increase, I am still fighting for the University of Hertfordshire to absorb a percentage of the cost of living on College Lane, to ensure that the full increased cost of living on campus next year is not passed directly to students. I am also requesting the University to:
- Freeze prices on Telford Court for the upcoming year to improve the range of prices available in accommodation
- Launch an investigation into tenancy lengths with the aim to reduce these to fall in line with the length of time students are required to be at university for teaching and exams
- Meet part of the cost of these rooms through its commercial and conferencing activity rather than passing the burden entirely to students.
I am now waiting on a response from U-Living around their plans for the upcoming year. I am setting up a committee to monitor the long-term strategy of affordability and accommodation at the University of Hertfordshire, to keep prices low and value high.
I will continue to fight to ensure that prices are kept low and that you get the best deal possible out of the proposed changes.
The costs of living on campus can be high. Has this affected you? Are you concerned about the affordability of accommodation on College Lane and how this may impact your experience here at the University? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure your voice is heard at the next board meeting.