Durham Uni has admitted housing crisis is partly caused by its acceptance of too many students

It blames the current housing shortage on the increased number of freshers joining the uni since Covid

Durham University has admitted that it is partly to blame for the current housing crisis, having accepted too many students.

In an email sent this afternoon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Jeremy Cook recognised that “the current pressures on student accommodation are as a result of the additional student intake.”

However, the university did not go as far as to accept responsibility for accepting too many students.

Instead, it blames the unprecedented number of A-Level successes as a result of the national changes to the exam process after Covid.

Despite the fact that the University admits it had “anticipated” the current situation, hundreds of Durham students were still forced to queue throughout the night outside local estate agents to secure housing for next year.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Jeremy Cook, went on to say that the University’s efforts to engage with the local letting agents had failed. They had tried to encourage them “not to enter into early selling” but the agencies ignored this advice, meaning “we have still seen an early rush for accommodation.”

The effect on students throughout all year groups has been tremendous. First-year student, Alice, described the impact the housing crisis is having on her:

“A mere month ago, we were living separate lives back home, but now the pressure is on to form groups with people who we honestly don’t know that well,” she said.

“Most feel a lot of trepidation that their seemingly friendly flatmates’ true forms haven’t been revealed yet. Not to mention that people come from different backgrounds and financial situations, and so budgets might differ; these conversations can be tricky to navigate with new friends, for fear of judgement.”

She described one of her friends as saying:“I’m 18 years old, what on earth am I doing in an estate agent?”

For second and third years already in the private rental market, the situation is not much better.

Last week, a second year student said that his rent was going up by over £1,000 next year.

Jacob said that despite this, his house has already been taken by students having only been on the market for two days.

“It’s completely pushing out working class students and low income students,” he said.

He described prices for houses next year as being as much as “£180 [a week] and higher.” “No one can afford that who I know,” he added.

Other students told The Tab that they have missed lectures and academic meetings in order to keep up with the current situation.

Today, Durham University said it hopes to offer between 750-800 beds in college to students affected by the housing crisis. Houses will become available in late November and the uni will be registering interest “shortly”.

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A Durham Uni student says their rent is going up over £1,000 next year