You might have heard over the last month the stat that more than 50% of all young people are now heading off to uni, proving it’s as popular a future pathway choice as ever. No real surprise there.
And in lots of ways, that’s a great thing. It finally meets the government target set nearly 20 years ago. More young people are coming out of education with higher level qualifications like HNC/Ds and foundation, undergrad and postgrad degrees.
And like we’ve said before, stats show that graduates earn on average £10k a year more than their non-graduate counterparts. Also they’re less likely to face unemployment, too. So it’s looking pretty good. But it doesn’t mean there’s no downside to this steady increase in HE sign ups.
Most unis will attempt to guarantee housing for at least their first-year students, to help them settle in and support them throughout their fresher year.
However this isn’t always possible, especially in city universities like the ones you find in London where on-site accommodation is sparse if non-existent, and students are encouraged into private student accommodation or halls, or to rent privately.
And with more and more young people signing up to study, decent accommodation is becoming pretty hard to nab.
The student housing shortage has become such an issue that a University of Bristol student has, when unable to find affordable accommodation in the city, decided to set up camp in Amsterdam and commute every week.
Postgrad Sohail Braakman may seem mad, but budget flights from Amsterdam ‘can be as low as £20 for a one-way flight’. Which isn’t quite so unreasonable when you think that private landlords in the city are charging over £300/week.
When contacted, the University said it hadn’t accepted more students than planned this year, it’s just a case of fewer students deferring or withdrawing their places, which can be seen in unis across the country.
Their best advice? Get your applications in early.
There are a few other ways you can give yourself a head start on the accommodation front:
Organise yourself as much as possible and apply as soon as you can, because places are limited and it might be a case of first-come first-served – especially with the most desirable accommodation.
Applying early means you’ll have the best pick of the lot. Because not many would fancy a daily commute from continental Europe.
Need a bit more help when it comes to accommodation? Head to the Push website for more info.
LUCY HARDING is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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