UCL accused of cutting bursaries for low income students
Students from less well-off backgrounds will get £500-£1,000 less next year
UCL, Cut the Rent (UCL, CTR) and the Cheese Grater are claiming that UCL are cutting 100 per cent of all bursaries in a joint investigation.
Previously, students coming from households with an annual income of less than £12,000 a year were able to receive a bursary of £3,000 and those that fell into the £12,000 – £25,000 income bracket were given £2,000.
However, it has become apparent that these bursaries have been cut to £2000, and £1,500 respectively.
This means those from lower income backgrounds will be getting £500-£1,000 less per year.
— UCL Cut The Rent (@rentcutUCL) May 4, 2016
UCL Estates have claimed that the high rent in halls have been balanced out by bursaries, but UCL CTR have recently slammed the university’s ‘hypocrisy’. Whilst bursaries have been cut between £500 and £1,000, UCL have increased rents by 56% since 2010.
Speaking to the Independent, Angus O’Brien – a halls rep and one of the spokespeople for UCL CTR – told them that that the cuts “will exclusively affect students from less privileged backgrounds” and that they were “a blatant attack on access to education at UCL.
He said it was further evidence that for UCL “money comes first, education second.”
UCL Estates manager, Andrew Grainer, has previously been criticised for stating that “We [UCL] do not set out rents on the basis of the least well-off students… Some people just simply cannot afford to study in London – and that is just a fact of life.”
With rooms being between £130 and £270 a week in halls, UCL boasts some of the most expensive rents in the country. Considering the ongoing reports of ceiling collapses and vermin, it is unsurprising that so many students are so unhappy – the rent strike is 600 strong, and they are withholding over £1m in rent.