Rent payments for University-owned accommodation
The current national restrictions in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 significantly impact all aspects of our students’ university experience. Our campuses, including our residences, study spaces, catering outlets, research facilities, Covid- testing centre and Covid vaccination centre, are open, in line with Government guidance. Any student who does not have access to adequate facilities to study at home is very welcome to come onto our campuses to use our facilities, and for those who have a room in our accommodation, to live in their accommodation.
In addition, any student who feels that coming onto campus, or moving back into their University accommodation, would be better for their overall mental health and wellbeing can do so.
Other students, in our Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, are back living on our campuses as Government guidance permits in-person teaching on their courses. However, under the current Government restrictions, some students were not able to travel back after the Christmas vacation to move back into their rooms. The current Government restrictions also mean we are not able to offer the full university residential social experience students were expecting and hoping for.
Considering the impacts on our students we have offered all our undergraduate students in University-owned accommodation a 30% rent reduction of the full remaining term of their residential licence agreement. In most cases, this will be from 3 January 2021 until 6 June 2021.
For our postgraduate students, we have offered a more individualised approach. Any postgraduate student who has not yet collected their keys will only start paying rent from the point at which they take possession of their accommodation. For the rest of our postgraduate community, we are working to ascertain which students are continuing to live in our accommodation, and which students went home for the Christmas vacation and are now unable to return. Any students who have left their accommodation and are not now able to return will be offered a comparable discount to our undergraduates.
We have been working with our Students’ Union on this issue, and have now written to all our students in University-owned residences on this point. Many of our students are of course in privately-run accommodation. We are working through university umbrella bodies to try and influence the behaviour of the larger private providers of accommodation for students. In the meantime, if any student is facing financial hardship, they should apply for help via our Financial Assistance Fund.