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Durham University Students Plan Protests Over Accommodation Costs

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Students at Durham University have launched a campaign against above-inflation price increases to college accommodation.

According to the students union (DSU), increasing accommodation costs are forcing students to live out of college and have been branded a "rip off".

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, president Alice Dee, said: "In the last few years we've seen decreases in students wanting to return to college and you can't separate that from the fact that the cost has gone up quite a lot.

"There's a lot of concern about the potential students from low income backgrounds who can't afford to come here and have the Durham experience."

Miss Dee also argued students were concerned about how expensive it is to live in college accommodation and the wider impact this has on Durham.

Research undertaken by the DSU suggests that of 12 universities analysed, Durham's budget accommodation was the highest priced this year when compared to its counterparts.

To date around 1,200 students have signed a petition calling for the university to review its fees. In particular, there are calls for the university to lower them to what they would have been if increases had been inflation linked over the last nine years.

If such measures were taken rooms would be priced at £5,775 per academic year for catered accommodation versus their current price of £6,940.

Responding to the campaign, Pro-vice Chancellor Owen Adams said: "The cost of providing our college residences rises year on year and we have to review prices on an annual basis to ensure we can continue to provide a high standard of accommodation and services. When reviewing our college residence charges, we consult extensively, including with student representatives."

Protests are due to be held outside the Bill Bryson Library on June 9.