£47.5m for Glasgow in student digs partnership

June 14, 2002

Glasgow University has finalised a multimillion-pound deal to lease the majority of its halls of residence, despite widespread opposition from students.

It has signed an agreement with the Sanctuary Housing Association, which will run the residences to specified standards.

Another charitable organisation, Glasgow Student Villages, whose board includes the secretary of Glasgow's court, has been set up to acquire the residences and lease them back to the university for 32 years. Glasgow will then have the option to buy back the halls for a nominal sum.

The deal will give Glasgow £47.5 million, which it will use to build a hall of residence, repay borrowings on halls and create an endowment for student support. The court has backed the partnership.

But Tim Shand, president of the students' representative council, said more than 1,600 students had petitioned against the move. He said that students feared rent increases or cuts in the quality of service.

"We have student representation on court, but it is fair to say the agreement has gone ahead without the support of the students," he said.

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