Some Reading students have found themselves without accommodation for the start of the new academic year, after the University of Reading take it their largest ever intake of 3,884 new undergraduates.
The increased intake has been a trend across many univesities in the UK this year after the Conservatives removed student number caps. So far409,000 students have been accepted onto higher education courses for 2015/16, representing a 3% rise year on year, and the UK's highest ever student intake.
But the increased intake has not been taken up smoothly by all institutions, with many undergrads being put up in hotels until other arrangements can be made. An NUS spokesman said that, "It is going to be very difficult for students who are in temporary accommodation, like hotels, to arrange shared housing when they don't know anyone and most of this housing will have been taken already by second-year students. The demand for university-owned accommodation is huge because the private-sector alternative is so much more expensive, and there are more students than ever this year vying for affordable rooms."
The students themselves (in the case of Reading) have been allocated hotel rooms at reduced rates, but still need to search for accommodation themselves. In the case of students at Reading, they have two weeks to do so, and whilst some private halls in the city do still have rooms available, the premium price tags are just too much for many students.
Hopefully this story won't repeat itself across too many universities in the coming weeks, but with the incentive to push your intake capacity to its limits at an all-time high, we could be seeing student accommodation shortages well into the new academic year.