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Existential housing crisis at UK universities leaving students struggling, says NUS | UK News

An “existential” housing “crisis” has emerged at UK universities, leaving students struggling to find suitable accommodation.

Exclusive data for Sky News (by Higher Education platform StudentCrowd and accountants PwC), shows that while the student population has risen by 400,000 since 2019, the number of available student houses has dropped by 19,000 in the same period.

Student housing

That’s a loss of up to 95,000 bedrooms. Each house has multiple bedrooms.

Universities and private providers have only been able to make up less than a tenth of that, building an additional 9,000 bedrooms in purpose-built accommodation, in the last year.

“What we’re seeing right now is quite an existential crisis for students,” said Chloe Field at the National Union of Students.

She says housing has “always been an issue” but that the situation has been “exacerbated” in recent years.

“It’s a very stressful process. There’s a lot of people looking for a smaller number of houses.”

Student housing
The number of available student houses has dropped by 19,000 since 2019

It’s people like Asha who are at the heart of it.

She’s in her final year at York University but ended up spending much of it living on campus rather than in a student house because she said it was more affordable.

University of York

“I was looking for a house, but everything seemed quite out of my budget.”

But her university experience began with a daily 30-mile commute every day from Hull to York, as there was a shortage of campus accommodation when she arrived.

“They (York University) never really explained it fully. They just said, ‘I’m sorry. There’s no accommodation on campus for you’.”

In response, the university told Sky News that the reason for students being temporarily based in Hull was due to a specific recruitment problem after the pandemic.

It added in a statement: “We know finding the right place to live is a huge part of university life, which is why we…

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This notice was published: 2023-12-21 16:09:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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