Unprepared uni doesn’t have enough housing for incoming freshers

‘It makes me wish I’d gone somewhere else’

accommodation freshers halls housing KCL king's college london London

Hordes of outraged freshers don’t have anywhere to live next month.

The unprepared uni are now randomly allocating housing in “rounds”, in which a space depends on someone else rejecting an accommodation offer.

Distressed freshers –– who found out the news on Twitter –– have spent hours on the phone to accommodation officers desperately trying to find out where they can live.

The disaster is the result of caps on student numbers being lifted, and an unexpected influx means not everyone has secured a place in halls.

Prospective undergrads contacted King’s in a frantic attempt to solve problems, including blank accommodation offers and contradictory emails from the university.

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Champion Hill, one of the oversubscribed residences

Imogen Hirsch, 18, had a blank offer and was later told her application was unsuccessful, even though she submitted her accommodation request before the deadline.

The Maths and Physics fresher told The Tab: “As I was on a trip in London with my mum, we decided to go and visit the King’s Residence Office at Great Dover Street.

“I went to the lady and she said there’s a third and fourth allocation for people who are unsuccessful in the first and second allocation or who are coming to King’s through insurance, clearing and adjustment.”

Even international students face the danger of being homeless in a foreign country, unless someone declines an offer for these very highly sought-after halls.

Anaëlle Prioux, who will be studying Liberal Arts, said: “I applied over two months before the deadline that should have guaranteed me a place to live.

“But yesterday when I opened my offer letter, all the residence information appeared as blank.

“It took me four hours to get the information I had been ‘unsuccessful in the first round’.

“So like many students, I’m still technically homeless in London.

“It especially pisses me off  because I’m an international student. I have no way to go to London earlier to look for a flat and no friends or family in the city who could do it for me.”

The housing crisis comes as The Tab can reveal many other top unis, including fierce rivals UCL, guarantee a place in halls for all full time first year undergraduates.

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Nightmare on Stamford Street

King’s housing guarantee says the university does guarantee a year in halls, but it might not be your first year.

Tom Ransom, from Scunthorpe, said: “I had a clear insurance choice and had to decide between King’s and Leeds for my firm.

“I chose King’s, and one of the biggest deciding factors was being guaranteed to be able to live in central London, as the King’s website said I would.

“Then it’s suddenly dropped on us no one is guaranteed a place and we are completely at the mercy of other students declining their offers.”

He added: “It’s going to be really difficult to find a place to live which is both close enough to commute and cheap enough to afford has put a lot of stress on me and anyone else who hasn’t got a place.

“It makes me wish I had gone somewhere else.”

Hannah Pluthero, a spokeswoman for the University, said: “This year, King’s has increased bed spaces by 1,000 for 2015/2016 and we are exploring new property options for 2016/2017, with the aim to be able to guarantee a room to all first year students in the near future.

“King’s residences receives over 7,000 applications for 5,300 beds, and 90 per cent of applicants who meet the criteria listed on our website are offered accommodation.”