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No Guarantee of University Halls for Glasgow Students

Posted by Calum Martin in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A number of new students hoping to study at the University of Glasgow have been automatically denied accommodation after receiving their results.

Students living within a commutable distance from the university were automatically denied a place in halls, whilst some prospective students from further away have also been told there is no guarantee of accommodation next year.

A reduction in Glasgow's private rental market is being blamed for the shortage of beds by the university.

The Students' Representative Council claimed too many students had been accepted by the university this year.

A-Level results day in England is taking place next Thursday (18th August). English students will not find out whether they have secured accommodation until 10 working days after receiving their results.

In an interview with BBC Scotland, Elissa Varley, from Burton-on-Trent, who has a conditional offer to study Politics commented: "I was really, really looking forward to going but now it's looking like I might not be able to go at all.

"Either I withdraw my application, which would also withdraw my insurance option, or I take a risk and try to find somewhere private to stay in two weeks and possibly be left with no accommodation.

"I don't even know my results yet and whether I've got in and then I have two weeks to find private accommodation.

"I can't commute five-and-a-half hours.

"I wish they would have told us sooner so I would've been better prepared to look at different accommodation or I could've contacted a different university through clearing."

Elissa's father Duncan added: "If she gets in, that gives her two weeks to find a room in a market which Glasgow university admitted does not have much accommodation.

"There could be hundreds of other people looking for accommodation at the same time.

"It's hard to imagine that they couldn't foresee this."

A prospective PhD student, Dave Todd, told BBC Scotland: "I have been relying on postgraduate accommodation through the university to house me as I can't really afford to live anywhere too expensive and I don't know anyone in Glasgow.

"I've been waiting an entire year to finally start and now it's looking like I'll have to defer for a year or drop out completely.

"I just don't understand why it's taken this long for them to inform everyone about the accommodation."

A statement given by the Students' Representative Council said: "The SRC is aware of the issues leading up to this point and we would like to express our disappointment at the university's approach.

"After the accommodation crisis across Glasgow last year, the SRC lobbied the university to commit to a moratorium on student numbers, despite this it now seems that over-recruitment has contributed to the creation of a similar situation."

President of the SRC, Rinna Vare, expressed her concerns over the experience being tainted for freshers.

She added: "While we are aware this is a wider issue in the city, we try and push the university to communicate as early as possible on these issues.

"Our advice centre can support students with any concerns and help them consider their options."

A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow commented on the situation: "Regrettably, due to a significant contraction in the private rental market, demand for rooms continues to be substantially ahead of expectation and we are no longer in a position to provide guaranteed university accommodation.

"Despite having increased the number of rooms under university management by 25 per cent for the new academic year, we are having to prioritise accommodation for students who are unable to travel from home.

"We understand the concern students have about finding accommodation for the new semester."

They added the university would continue checking on the availability of private provider accommodation and share any updates. They also suggested those looking for information should contact the SRC's advice centre.