Freshers left out in the cold in accommodation nightmare

The number of freshers applying for their accommodation has significantly increased causing an accommodation crisis for UoB

Many freshers missed out on accommodation this year after the university offered places to too many students.

UoB was unable to provide all its first year students with accommodation, despite having guaranteed a room for all freshers.

First year students have found themselves living in Liberty Court and Opal 1, with the latter being 2.5 miles from campus (a 50 min walk).

Google maps showing the location of Opal 1, 2.5 miles from campus.

Google maps showing the location of Opal 1, 2.5 miles from campus.

Over 100 freshers have been thrown into the student bubble of Selly Oak, a year before most even know it exists.

The incomplete Jarratt Hall has not helped matters, meaning that 150 fewer bed spaces were available for this year’s intake.

Students in third-party accommodation not only face higher costs but also different payment options.

For example, students must pay £5000 upfront to secure places in Victoria Halls, before a first instalment payment of £1000 on September 1 – almost a month before student loans were received.

This is not the first time the University has slipped up with accommodation. A second year English Literature student told The Tab: “Last year I was allocated a Mason penthouse suite, even though I hadn’t even applied for a bog-standard mason room.

“I had to ring them up to explain that there was no way I would be able to afford to live there. Luckily I was transferred to Pritchatts Park.”

The Vale is over subscribed for 2013-14

If it had been this year, they would be shacking up with the Selly locals.

The Guild has scrambled together an emergency RA team, and are working alongside with Selly Joke to salvage some of the halls identity we remember from our freshers week.

Opal 1 doesn't have swans like Mason.

Opal 1 doesn’t have swans like Mason.

In a statement to Redbrick, VPHC Dave Charles said: “As a result of the university’s strong recruitment drive and the subsequent shortage of bed spaces, the Guild’s primary focus has been to do what we can to assist these students in getting the best from their time at Birmingham.

VPHC Dave Charles

VPHC Dave Charles

“The Guild will be running the first of a series of events for students who have fallen outside the University’s fresher accommodation guarantee.”

With freshers already missing out on their first Gatecrasher experience due to new Guild policy, this fresh blow has left our new intake feeling even more disillusioned with their student union.

Dave is hoping to rekindle some good feeling with an opportunity to meet the sabbatical team at Joe’s. (It is unknown if he is offering to pay for taxis.)

It is estimated that 15-20% of students will be in private, third party accommodation next year.

On a more positive note, Opal 1 is literally just across the road from McDonalds.