Skint students huddle for shelter in 10-man common room

‘It’s the same excuse by the university all the time – they took in too many students. That’s not an excuse, it should be illegal’


Aberdeen Uni has been claiming that the living situation for freshers is now under control.

But what about these students living in a 10-man common room?

Marc, from Spain, has been spending every day since arriving in emergency accommodation.

He said: “The day I got my student ID I tried every place I could. But there was nothing.”

Racking his brains as to where he's supposed to go

Racking his brains as to where he’s supposed to go

The 17-year-old decided to try his luck in Aberdoom despite not knowing where he was going to live. Upon arrival, the engineer hoped to get help from the university.

He added: “It was the first time I was on a plane, I came alone. After insisting they help a little they offered me emergency accommodation in the television room.”

But he was made to pay for the convenience of living with nine strangers: “80 pounds for this, it’s pretty expensive. It’s not a great offer.”

Misleading signage, leads Mark straight to his bedroom

Misleading sign leads Marc straight to his bedroom

There’s always a silver lining: “At least I have somewhere to stay.

“The university people are saying that they are looking for places for us and they weren’t sure how much time I could stay in emergency accommodation.

“But that if they offered me a place and I didn’t accept because I couldn’t afford it, I could not stay in the emergency room.”

Bring your stuff here, they said. We have plenty of storage.

Bring your stuff here, they said. We have plenty of storage

Poor Marc is having to wait for his turn though, since he’s not living in Britannia which has been given “high priority”.

He said: “They don’t want to be paying for other people – they’re helping the people in the hotels first.”

And the university is trying to get rid of the problem as quickly as possible: “They said, if they offer us something and we can’t take it, we can’t stay in emergency accommodation, and then I’ll be homeless.

“I’m scared. A friend was offered private accommodation by the university. It was really bad, he was really pissed off.

“The people he lived with did cocaine and stuff. He couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t even afford that.”

This or cocaine? You decide.

This or cocaine? You decide.

“It’s the same excuse by the university all the time – they took in too many students – that’s not an excuse, it should be illegal.”

The fresher’s experience was not the one of his dreams: “Everything went wrong. I didn’t go partying.

“I spent Freshers’ looking for places to live.”

And the university’s blunder has even taken a toll on student mental health. Marc said: “I want to see a therapist. I am going crazy. Lots of anxiety.

“The first week and second week, I was so frustrated and sad. I wanted to go back to Spain.”

Without having secured somewhere to stay, students can’t get settled. “I can’t even call my family. I can’t get a phone number because I can’t get a bank account.”

It is speculated that the remaining nine students in “other temporary accommodation facilities” are living here.

Early on Thursday, The Tab spoke to Student Life Director Leith Forsyth.

He said: “You sensationalise everything. You report incorrectly and your facts are untrue.

“What are you going to do? Write another article?”

How are these halls for sensational?