This University Is Offering £1,500 For Students Not To Live In Uni Halls

Would you take £1,500 to live off campus?

Arguably the biggest part of your first year at university is moving away from home and into uni halls. So, what if you had to live elsewhere for your first year? That’s the decision the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) students are making after being offered money to live elsewhere.

The uni says they’ve had an unprecedented number of applications for their accommodation, so now even students who have already been offered rooms are now being asked to reconsider.

To make the decision a little easier, QUB students are being offered £1,250, off-peak gym membership (worth £100) and £150 on their student card. Plus, of course, a refund for any deposits already paid.

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Why is student accommodation oversubscribed?

It turns out that the pandemic’s made more than a few potential students postpone going to university. Less students last year means a heck of a lot more applying to go this year, so accommodation options are a bit tight.

QUB has seen a 12% increase in the number of applicants for their accommodation this year. They’re not the only ones seeing a squeeze for student accommodation either.

A recent survey by SpareRoom has found a 191% increase in demand in West Central in London, a popular student area.

It’s not just new starters putting pressure on accommodation. With face-to-face teaching back on the cards, students who might have studied remotely are now moving out of their parents’ spare room and heading back to the cities they’re supposed to be studying in.

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Why are QUB paying their students to live elsewhere?

QUB usually has enough accommodation for 3,500 students, but as they’ve been offering flexible terms to students during the lockdowns, students feel that they’re more likely to be able to duck out of a contract with the university rather than a private provider.

The university actually offered students an extended rent holiday in October 2020 if they wanted to move back home to study remotely — who wouldn’t take that huge saving?

All of a sudden, the uni provided accommodation and those dodgy shared bathrooms are looking far more attractive to students than they previously might have.

Unfortunately with life returning to some sort of normality, there’s a surge in new starters all after these more flexible deals.

What’s the answer? Some students will be sure to take up the deal — it’s a decent sum towards rent elsewhere and many already feel scammed by tuition fees. Plus, the university is looking for short-term accommodation options nearby for students who want to stay for 1-2 nights every so often.

It’s not perfect, but if you’ve already waited a year to start your degree course, then you might want to make the best of it!