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Students Protest Over Cost of Living

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Durham University students have staged a protest about the proposed increase in the cost of accommodation.

Durham University students' union president Megan Croll led the protest against rents increasing to £7,171 per year.

She described Durham's culture as "elitist" and said: "The cost of college accommodation is now more than what the cost of repayments on a mortgage on a two-bedroom new build house within the same five mile radius could be. This is for a single room, often in a poorly maintained state to the point of mould, holes in the roof and rats."

In response, Pro-vice chancellor Owen Adams said the fees would absorb cost of living increases, adding: "These charges cover much more than just accommodation - students benefit significantly from being part of a unique collegiate community for the rest of their lives."

"These accommodation charges also provide a safe environment for students to develop curiosity, personal effectiveness, and a sense of belonging forever."

"As well as residential facilities, fees fund dedicated staff, paid a living wage, who provide positive development and a caring support network; communal spaces for social events and wellbeing; and enabling fully-functioning student-led clubs and societies."

The university also stressed that students from low-income families can get help through the Durham Grant, while an accommodation bursary is also available to first year students.