Countdown: uni only have 7 days to sort out their blunder
‘Come here, go anywhere’ they said
University staff are in a desperate scramble to find hotel and hostel beds across the city and avoid making students homeless.
The majority of students opt to stay in either private or university run halls in their first year.
But this year the university has oversubscribed places, leaving hundreds without a place to live when they arrive for Freshers’ Week.
Most shockingly, as news of the accomodation cock-up broke, the university was still tweeting that it had spaces for new students available through clearing.
The university always claims that “no first-time students will be without somewhere to stay”. But with just 7 days to go until the official move in date, staff have a lot of work to do to house almost 250 “homeless” students.
For Ibrahim Zubairi, a student from Pakistan about to start his first year, the reality of this “guarantee” seems to be far from their initial promise.
Flying next week, he has nowhere to stay when he arrives in the city. While the university has been proactive in contacting many of the students to arrange alternative accommodation, Ibrahim’s phonecalls and emails have gone unanswered.
So far the uni have offered three options to the stranded freshers. Students who originally applied for Hillhead options were offered places in Crombie’s shared rooms.
This form of shared accommodation is only available in a small number of St. Andrews and Edinburgh halls and is seen to be wholly outdated.
Secondly, a proportion of the students are being temporarily housed in hotels and hostels across the city. These include Britannia Hotel 3 miles from campus, the Premier Inn on Ellon Road and Aberdeen Youth Hostel.
On a more permanent basis, the uni is looking to provide something they describe as “modular accommodation”. In other words, a Portacabin. Ideal for a hard winter in Aberdeen.
Some students have been lucky, finding accommodation in postgraduate residences and Unite private halls.
The students affected have started “ The Aberdeen Homeless Society” Facebook group, with 127 members seeking advice and solace in their fellow hobos.
Many of the members of the group seem to be in a state of blissful ignorance, claiming to be content with the off campus hotels and 6 bed dorm rooms.
When contacted about the accommodation situation for the freshers, the Press Officer told The Tab: “Our accommodation team is working flat-out to resolve a situation caused by combination of popularity of Aberdeen and our student accommodation, and the current rental market in the City.
“I am sure they would prefer to prioritise time on helping individual students secure accommodation rather than answering questions from The Tab which – from our experience – will make no difference to how the story is written.”
Aside from bitching about us, they emphasised that AUSA are doing their best to help those put into off campus accommodation, including providing meal vouchers and bus passes.