Durham University students to protest against accommodation fees

Durham students are calling for a freeze on accommodation costs after being hit with a 20 per cent hike over the past three years

February 21, 2015

As many as 200 students are expected by organisers to turn up to protest against the soaring prices at the Bill Bryson Library on 23 February.

The university recently sent an email to students explaining that college accommodation fees would increase by 8 per cent for the 2015-16 academic year.

A breakdown of the costs revealed that one third of accommodation revenue covers capital and borrowing expenditure.

In December the students’ union launched a petition against the cost hike calling for the university to reconsider, but the petition has since been removed from its website.

Now student group Durham Students for University Reform and other societies have organised a “day of action”.

DSUR said that the extent of the price rise caused “general shock” at the university and argued that rising college costs allow local landlords to raise student rents.

The group are calling for the university to freeze accommodation costs, offer greater transparency and involve more students in governance.

Harry Cross, co-chair of DSUR and an undergraduate student at the institution, said: “Rising accommodation fees create a two-tier university experience determined by a student’s ability to afford living in college.

“Durham University counts on the apathy of its students to force through unpopular decisions. This protest will demonstrate that Durham students refuse to be seen as apathetic and are willing to organise and oppose rising costs of living.”

The cost of a standard room for 38 weeks with catering in one of Durham’s colleges in the 2015-16 academic year will be £6,819, up from £6,289 in 2014-15 and £5,673 in 2012-13. This is higher than the cost of accommodation at nearby Newcastle University and the University of York.

Graham Towl, pro vice-chancellor and deputy warden at Durham, has said that students “benefit from a college experience at halls of residence prices”.

holly.else@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations