Students protest at housing

October 26, 1995

Manchester University has backed down on proposed rent increases in halls of residence this term, following a student rent strike.

Students, who voted unanimously in favour of the strike in a packed meeting on Wednesday October 4, were angry that hall fees had increased by an average of 7 per cent over the past academic year. In some halls, such as Horniman House, the increase was 13 per cent, with students expected to pay Pounds 72.50 a week.

The strike fund, which was set up earlier this month, attracted 500 students in its first four days. It also included students from neighbouring UMIST, as the two universities share a number of halls.

A Manchester University spokesperson said that the increases were to cover the cost of building over 2,000 student rooms in the past five years. The university has also been hit by the Government's decision to withdraw tax relief on university loans. This accounted for more than half the rent increases in most halls.

A set of proposals that Richard Stacey, student union communications officer, described as "very satisfactory" were put to the fee subcommittee and union officers on Monday. Mr Stacey said they involved "considerable reductions and refurbishments".

The issue is still to be settled in halls of residence owned by UMIST.

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