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University accommodation...

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Grandsire, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    interesting article in the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2...i-were-a-student-id-probably-go-on-strike-too

    I agree with most of the points raised in the article. One of the attractions of my own uni was that it offered no-frills, bog-standard accommodation to all (back in the nineties). But it now offers a range to suit your income: cheap rooms for the impoverished and deluxe accommodation for the privileged. Segregation by parental income! So much for university being a chance to meet people from all backgrounds... and I know where I’d be...

    I then did my PGCE in a city with an acute housing shortage, and found the uni-listed rooms far exceeded my loan, leaving me with debt and nothing to live on! I remember the sense of dismay and fear that I’d have to give up my place because I couldn’t afford to live there, and my parents were in no position to offer any financial support. God knows how students from low-income backgrounds feel today. Fortunately some friends-of-friends found me a tiny box room in a shared house, and I lived like a monk for the months I was there. I still came out with debt which took me several years to pay back.

    It all makes me so angry. Education is an investment: I was given a (relatively) small grant, which allowed me to become a qualified teacher. I’ve since paid more in tax than the government ever invested in me, and will probably continue to contribute more to this country than I would have done, had there been fees and no grant - I’d have been put off by the debt and would probably have stayed in a low-paid retail job I did at weekends.

    And I wouldn’t be here, moaning about it...
     
    Laphroig, phlogiston and freckle06 like this.
  2. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    See how the other half lives. According to the Saturday Torygraph you can become a student landlord and make loads of money for three years while you are at University. Do not suspect any of these students will be going into teaching.
     
  3. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    Completely agree.

    I lived in a halls of residence with shared bathrooms and toilets, it was the early 90s. We had cubicles with baths and part of the fun was finding friends who'd have a bath at the same time. Now I think about it, that's very odd! But at 18...?

    Interestingly all of the people in the rooms around me were in very similar positions financially (ie we were all broke and most of us were the first people in our families to study for a degree). There was one girl at the end of the corridor who arrived with a cello - she soon made friends that were more culturally in tune, shall we say.

    By the time I did my PGCE grants had disappeared so I lodged with a retired lady, which kept me sane and I could afford. It took my years to repay my loan and I'd had a SSS loan. I really feel for the younger teachers I work with - massive debts and average salary pensions.

    If I had just finished my A levels I really don't think I'd be going to do a degree, my parents couldn't have helped. I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I wasn't every really sure I wanted to teach (even when I went for interview), turns out I do enjoy it, I want the children to love the subject and I even have occasional moments of 'outstanding'.
     
    maggie m and Grandsire like this.
  4. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    But what can anyone do about it? I tried voting Lib-Dem, when they promised to scrap tuition fees, and look where that got me!
     
  5. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    PS Freckle, you sound very much like me - I never considered teaching until it occurred to me that the voluntary work I was doing as a science undergraduate in primary schools was more fun than the PhDs I was looking at. I know my university lecturers despaired of the choice I made...!
     
    freckle06 likes this.
  6. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    I was at university in the early 80's and everyone had to share bathrooms as freckle06 describes.( never shared a bath though !) I don't think anyone was bothered. I thought it was the height of luxury to have a hand basin in my room. A level students now all seem to want ensuite rooms and find the idea of shared facilties horrifying. I have pointed out to students that this will consume most if not all of their loan and reminded them they still have to eat, clothe themselves, buy books etc. Few of the students I teach are likely to have families that can give much financial support. I know my girls would have struggled if we hadn't helped with rent even though they had part time jobs..
     
    freckle06 likes this.
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Our daughter has shared facilities throughout her 5 years of study. Most of them still do.
     
  8. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    People make choices. That's up to them, surely? And suppliers, whether of university accommodation or of crisps, will respond to those choices.
     
  9. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    Never actually shared the bath - I'd like to point out. I was going through college photos the other day and found one of my room. We had a cleaner who used to come on Wednesdays and every week she'd have to bleach my sink because it was full of tea stains.

    What about long life milk in a bag hanging out of the windows as there were no fridges in halls?

    We also had old 3 pin plugs with three rooms to a fuse. We were not allowed kettles, however I have a friend two doors up who did have an illegal kettle. What she never worked out was that when she put the kettle on the lights would dim and when it had boiled the lights would brighten. That was the moment I would choose to appear at her door - 'cup of tea...?'

    My next door neighbour from halls went back a few years ago and found she was the only person in the SU bar as the students were all in Starbucks! More money than sense (or bigger loans than we had)
     
    sabram86 likes this.
  10. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    My step grandson is in shared accommodation, as was his mother. They have both made friends for life and the accommodation is OKish. The landlord obviously makes money but it's really basic and lacks home comforts. It's also in an area I wouldn't walk around in after dark.
     
  11. Lucy2711

    Lucy2711 Occasional commenter

    My niece is just doing the uni open day circuit at the moment. Seems to me that the accommodation on offer is rated in the same way as the course and definitely has to be visited and rated! Very different from my time when you were just allocated somewhere!
     
    maggie m likes this.
  12. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    When my sister was at college their halls were divided into houses of about eight people each (with ONE shared bathroom). The electrics were such that if you wanted to boil the kettle you had to open the door and shout 'kettle', as only one could be on at once. But what a lovely, friendly set up.

    We shared bathrooms and the cooking facilities for our uncatered weekends were basic and dangerous. But we had so much fun together. Students today seem to confine themselves to their en suite rooms more, and communicate on their phones. It might be swankier but it's not half as much fun.
     
    freckle06 likes this.
  13. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I think the reason for the rise in ensuite rooms is nothing to do with students, and all to do with the conference trade during vacations. However I can see that it probably does mean segregation by income.

    I'd always heard jokes about one of the newer Cambridge colleges: "Robinson Conference Centre - takes students in the low season." Then I met one of the housekeeping staff, and indeed, they were only allowed to take holidays during term.)
     
  14. stanley4shoes

    stanley4shoes Occasional commenter

    On a different forum someone was lamenting how much they were paying for their child’s room in halls, it came to more than I pay for my three bed house with garden. On linking to the ‘halls’ it’s effectively a holiday apartment, and is also rented as such!
     
  15. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    My first Halls of Res room (in what was whimsically called an 'annex', for which read garret room in Gower Street) had a small wash basin with only a cold tap and a radiator which looked like a two-bar Kit Kat, and was not much bigger, either. Ablutions were a lavatory pedestal, and a bath filled by a coin-op geyser, both in the same room. On bath nights, we were thankful for the wash basins in our rooms, although being only 5' 9", this arrangement was far from convenient for me.
     

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