£730 a month for a windowless cell

Submitted by Matthew on 18 September, 2013 - 10:49

Though universities like UCL [University College London] have an annoying habit of bringing up their place in university rankings, something tells me they won’t be mentioning one particular accolade very often.

New halls built for UCL students have just been awarded the Carbuncle Cup, an award given by Building Design magazine to the worst new building. Just to repeat, that’s not “worst new university halls” or even, “worst new block of flats”, but Worst New Building.

The magazine has unfavourably compared the new flats with HMP Pentonville, which is on the same street, noting that the prisoners receive a better view than the students.

It seems even sunlight is considered an extravagant extra for university students.

A UCL spokesperson, attempting to defend the ugly monstrosity, said it had “excellent” transport links and was designed with post-graduate students in mind.

We didn’t realise postgrads are less human than other students and therefore it’s perfectly fine for them to be charged up to £730 a month for wretched, windowless rooms.

For too long, students, including those at UCL, have been held ransom by universities, charging extortionate amounts of rent for unacceptable conditions, knowing full well that students will be forced to shell out.

First year and international students are among the most exploited, often seen as cash-cows by universities, who are often as sneaky and uncaring as the worst landlord you could imagine.

It’s time to put a stop to this. Students shouldn’t stand for it. We deserve to be treated better than an endless source of revenue for universities while being cooped up like sardines in tiny flats.

The student movement needs to campaign for fair rents and decent housing.

Stop this sell off!

The government wants to sell off student debt to private companies. To sweeten the deal, the government is considering upping the repayment rates. This would be the equivalent of a huge and retroactive stealth hike in tuition fees.

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is calling for national and local action against the sell-off of the student loan book.

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