Exploding Samsung Phone Banned from University

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Students attending St Andrews University have been banned from using Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in student halls over concerns they could cause fires or explode.

Samsung has been under fire over the production of its Galaxy Note 7 and has recently been the cause of multiple fires and explosions worldwide, causing the company to permanently stop its production.

According to the email, the university has decided to take action and stated that the phone is "no longer permitted to be used in residences and should be powered down immediately".

The email cites five related cases as the reason for the drastic action and has guided students through the exchange process available via the Samsung website.

Samsung, who manufacture the phone, have taken extreme measures to ensure customer safety is not put at risk and has asked all customers to power off their phones immediately. The website guides users through the recall process which provides customers with a full refund or product swap.

Other UK universities have taken a similar approach, while airlines such as Air Berlin, Lufthansa and Air New Zealand have also announced they won't allow the phone on board flights.

Decision on Falmouth Ocean Bowl Development Delayed

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The decision on a controversial planning application near Falmouth docks has been postponed after Cornwall Council said the Ocean Bowl scheme was withdrawn from a recent committee agenda.

The proposal to build a 250-bed student accommodation scheme was due to go before the committee this week, but has been rescheduled so that council members could receive up to date information regarding student growth in Falmouth and Penryn.

The development has received strong criticism from local residents with around 200 objections having been submitted in relation to the plans. Despite the concerns, the application had been recommended for approval by planning officer Mark Ball, but subject to conditions.

According to Mr Ball: "The proposed development would provide purpose-built managed student accommodation on a previously developed site in a sustainable location that would help meet and therefore alleviate a pressing need for student accommodation and therefore reduce pressure on the existing housing stock of the town."

Mr Ball also argued the inclusion of a cafe/restaurant would complement Falmouth Docks Station, which currently doesn't provide any facilities to travellers, and therefore there is a public benefit to the scheme.

A spokesman for Cornwall Council confirmed that the delay is being enforced to provide members of the planning committee the change to receive a strategic briefing beforehand on the planning issues associated with accommodating student growth in Falmouth and Penryn. As a result of the delay the proposals will now be discussed at the next meeting of the central planning committee on November 21.

A-level Courses Impacted by Reduced Funding

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Due to a lack of funding six-form colleges in England have been forced to drop courses, meaning students must choose from an increasingly narrow range of A-level subjects.

According to the Sixth Form Colleges Association's annual survey, two thirds of colleges have had to drop courses, while over half have removed or reduced extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and sport.

Government has said it protected the base rate of funding for all post-16 students until 2020.

The annual questionnaire was sent to all 90 sixth form colleges in England. The findings indicated that 39% have dropped courses in modern foreign languages, while 84% of colleges are teaching students in larger class sizes. Of the 80 that responded 64% say funding will not be sufficient to help support disadvantaged students and 90% are concerned about the financial health of their institution.

The SFCA says the sector has been on the receiving end of three funding cuts since 2011 but must contend with rising costs in increased employer contributions to pensions and national insurance schemes.

In particular the report raised concerns that non-qualification and extra-curricular activities are being reduced or removed.

Chief executive of the SFCA, Bill Watkin said: "A review of sixth form funding is urgently required to ensure it is linked to the realistic costs of delivering a rounded, high-quality curriculum.

"Failure to do this risks turning sixth form education into a narrow and part-time experience. That would be bad for students, bad for society and bad for the economy."

Work Begins on Luxury Plymouth Accommodation

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Work is underway on a £3.5 million development that consists of luxury student flats, shops, cafes and restaurants in Plymouth city centre.

The former Comet store will be demolished and replaced with a new six-storey tower consisting of high-end student accommodation targeted towards wealthy foreign students.

The purpose-built student accommodation will be able to house up to 80 students, living in large state of the art self-contained studio flats with double beds.

Aspire Student Living is anticipating that the development will be complete by September 2017.

Plymouth University has previously supported the plan saying: "The university is committed to attracting high calibre students to the region and it is looking to increase recruitment of international students as well as meeting the specific needs of postgraduate students.

"Through the development of the Comet building into student accommodation, a number of beds can be made available to postgraduate students that will meet a current demand based on their specific needs in the form of flexible accommodation contract."

Aspire Student Living, part of Pillar Land Securities, has already transformed the former Halifax building society building into apartments for foreign students.

At the start of the year it was revealed that Plymouth's student population injects £300 million into the city economy every year.

Student Judges Boycott Property Awards

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Student judges have refused to pick a winner at the first ever Student Accommodation Awards, held by Property Week, in defiance against increasing rent prices.

10 students from across the country were asked to pick the winner from a shortlist of providers within the "student experience" category for the inaugural Student Accommodation Awards. Instead the judges criticised the entrants for pricing out poorer students and driving the "social cleansing of education".

The student panel cited a 2015 study by the NUS, which indicates that university rent in the UK has increased by 18% over the past two years, which is predominately due to the growth of private student accommodation providers.

The panel said of the category: "Asking us to hand out an award when so many students are being pushed into poverty makes a mockery of what is a very real crisis."

The open letter was tweeted to Property Week and cited providers inability to meet the urgent need of students to live in accommodation that will not force them into poverty.

In particular the letter pointed to the fact that those nominated for the award included those who are charging more than £300 per week, which was cited as being above the level which a student loan would reasonably cover.

In addition, the students raised concerns over rising student debts lining the pockets of shareholders, with working class students being priced out, unable to access higher education altogether.

The panel finished the letter by urging providers to invest in affordable accommodation so that the future of higher education is open to all, regardless of parental income.

Wates Construction Appointed for Three Sites

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Wates Construction has been nominated to build three student accommodation projects that are estimated to be worth a combined £130 million.

The contracts cover three Vita Student schemes located in Manchester, Newcastle and York, all of which are due for completion in September 2017.

The largest of the sites, worth £60.2m, is for the construction of a 748-bed development at Manchester's Circle Square on Oxford Road, which used to house the BBC.

The second contract, valued at £47.7m is for the development of the Vita Student Village in York. The purpose-built student accommodation will be able to accommodate 659 students across 15 three and four-storey buildings on a 6.3-acre site.

The final site consists of 331 beds. The £23.8m development of Vita Student's Newcastle site will create a 10-storey block located at Strawberry Place near St James' Park.

Select Property Group chief commercial officer Marks Oakes said: "We are a rapidly expanding business with over 4,500 units currently in development in the North of England across our Vita Student, CitySuites and Affinity Living brands.

"At a significant time of growth, it's important for us to build long-lasting strategic partnerships with industry partners that we are confident can deliver on time and budget and share our commitment to produce exceptional, quality buildings that our customers want to live in."

Vita Student Snaps up Southampton Site

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Vita Student is to launch its second student development in Southampton on the site of the former bus depot on Portswood Road.

Due for completion in 2017, the purpose-built student accommodation will be able to house 435 students within a high end stylish living space.

Vita Student will begin to develop the site after acquiring the plot, which already has planning permission for student accommodation.

Included within the Portswood Road premises are plans for an impressive communal area, a large social hub, movie room, gym, private dining and dedicated study areas.

Managing Director of Vita Student, Lee McLean said of the site: "We're hugely excited to be launching our second residence in Southampton, a fantastic city that is a top destination for international and postgraduate students, both of whom want high quality accommodation and high standards of service.

"We're committed to helping our residents feel right at home here and that job is made so much easier by the warm and welcoming people of Southampton. We're incredibly proud of our relationship with the local community and strongly believe the development will be a major social and economic benefit to the area."

Vita Student already operates 10 residences nationwide and prides itself on offering the best possible student accommodation experience.

Unite Confirms Purchase of Sheffield Site

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Student accommodation developer and manager Unite Group have confirmed it has bought a development site in Sheffield.

The site, which is situated close to the University of Sheffield, will accommodate around 570 students. It's estimated that the total cost to purchase the land and develop the site will reach £35 million.

It's anticipated the site will be open in time for the start of the academic year in 2019-20 and will achieve a return on cost of 8-8.5%, which is in line with the company's target for regional development.

As a result of this latest acquisition the company now controls a development pipeline of over 5,500 beds, which will contribute to its earnings growth outlook.

According to Richard Simpson, group property director, the acquisition extends its high quality, development programme in a regional location where there is a growing demand for purpose-built student accommodation.

Mr Simpson also said: "Sheffield is a key city for Unite and will be able to drive efficiencies from our scale and enhance services to our customers and university partners. We continue to see good opportunities to secure land alongside leading regional university to supplement our development pipeline for delivery in 2019 and 2020."

Plans Outlined for 116-bed Falmouth Scheme

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Plans to build a 116-bed student accommodation scheme in the centre of Falmouth have been deemed as "generally acceptable" by a Cornwall Council planning officer.

The site is currently being used as a car park, which is accessed off Market Street via Fish Strand Hill. ECE Westworks have been appointed to design the purpose-built student accommodation block and are seeking pre-application advice from Cornwall Council.

The development will consist of a mix of room types including self-contained studios as well as cluster rooms in shared flats in three town located to the rear of the site. Planning permission has previously been granted for 20 flats with 20 on-site parking spaces on the same site.

Principal development officer at Cornwall Council, Tim Marsh, referring to this previous planning permission said: "In terms of massing, the proposal is similar to the previously approved scheme. However, there is a significant increase in height facing towards Fish Strand Hill which could have implications for the existing flats and dwellings opposite in terms of visual domination, inter-visibility and being overbearing."

Mr Marsh did note however, that the block fronting Fish Strand Hill is "problematic" due to the proposed use of dark cladding. It was also advised that any planning application is supported by a heritage statement, to include the assessment of the impact of the proposed development on affected Listed Buildings.

674-bed Oxford Development Receives Strong Criticism

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Plans for a 674-bed student accommodation and retail scheme in Oxford have been labelled as a catastrophe after developers revealed their plans for the first time.

Local residents and councillors spoke out as plans for a major development on the 3.9 acre Cowley Barracks site in Oxford were put on display.

Developers revealed that to tackle potential traffic issues, Oxford Brookes University students would not be allowed to have cars while studying, however councillors argued this was unenforceable.

In particular they referred to Slade Park, which was supposed to be car-free but Oxford Brookes wasn't able to enforce the rules meaning people still had cars.

Councillor Liz Brighouse said: "The road infrastructure just can't support this level of development. We can't take any more development that's going to bring more traffic to the area.

"People are having real problems here because the roads are just swamped with traffic. I will be fighting against it. What we need here is affordable family housing, not student housing."

Developers argued that the scheme would meet a clear demand for additional student housing. In regards to the concerns over parking, developers BT said it would be treated like a tenancy agreement, and that students could be removed if they were found to be in breach of the rules.