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Students Hail Rent Strike Victory

Posted by Richard Ward in , , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Students campaigning against the increasing cost of rent have claimed a major win after a five-month rent strike resulted in a deal being struck with University College London.

The protest group UCL Cut the Rent, reached an agreement with the university after 200 students withheld their rents, which range from £154-£276 per person per week.

The group has now accepted an offer by the university to freeze its lowest rents for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year. UCL also agreed to increase its accommodation bursary for less well-off students to £600,000, which will also remain in place for 2018-19.

Commenting on the strike, campaign organiser Jack Kershaw, said: "I went on rent strike so that in the future a wider range of students can study at UCL.

"The only reason the university froze rents and started to offer an accommodation bursary last year was due to the rent strike. This shows that UCL management need to be pressured by their own students into taking action."

The campaign follows similar success after strikes were held by students at Goldsmiths, University of London, which resulted in prices being cut by 35%.

Former vice president of the National Union of Students (NUS), Shelly Asquith, said of the outcome: "UCL Cut the Rent played a blinder curing negotiations, and this three-year action has resulted in concessions worth millions of pounds. We expect this to be replicated elsewhere, and will continue to support students on rent strike."