This year, more students than ever were accepted into university.
It should be great news – more students have the opportunity to advance their learning and experience university life. But the acceptance rate at some universities is much higher than the number of rooms currently available, and it’s causing a serious problem for students.
When teacher-assessed grades were awarded during the COVID pandemic, more students achieved the entry requirements to go to uni. But lockdown also caused the construction of new student housing to slow during this time.
This means that many people applying for student accommodation this year have struggled to find somewhere to live. Rooms are notoriously scarce in cities like Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Bristol.
We saw similar reports last year about accommodation shortages in cities like these, however, they only seem to be increasing. Some universities, again, have offered students money to live elsewhere, and some students have even queued overnight to view a house.
Students deserve better than this. The university experience is so much more than studying and attending lectures. It’s about embarking on this new chapter of your life, on your terms. And for many new students, that includes living in their city of study.
While getting accommodation in your city should be a given, unfortunately in some cities, it can be a struggle. So, what information do you need to know, and what active steps can you take to get ahead?
1. According to Save The Student, a third of students who need accommodation find theirs before December. So, our advice would be to find the room you want and book it as soon as you can.
2. Speak to your university’s accommodation services: Your uni should have a dedicated team that can advise you of housing available in the city, and help you book if you need it. Especially if you’re moving from overseas, it can be really helpful to speak to them and ask any questions you might have about finding accommodation.
3. More students than ever are choosing to live in purpose-built student accommodation, like Vita Student, rather than house shares. This is because it was shown to be the best choice in minimising the cost of living, allowing students to focus more on their studies and less on energy bills.
4. Ask questions on online forums: There are plenty of UK student forums that you can get information on accommodation from real students – The Student Room and Reddit for example. Here, you can speak with current students about their experience of finding accommodation and get their accommodation recommendations in your city of study.
5. Students spend, on average, 60% of their time at university inside their accommodation and one of the most common reasons for first years dropping out is due to their accommodation choices. While you need to book, you also want to make sure it will be a space you’re happy with.
Until universities address oversubscription, or until construction catches up with acceptance rates, student accommodation will, unfortunately, continue to be scarce. However, we hope with enough information and advice, it will be easier for students to navigate the journey of finding a place to live.
If you have any questions about Vita Student accommodation or want to find a room with the help of our team, contact us here.