University accommodation crisis solution – bunkbeds

THE UNIVERSITY Accommodation Office, struggling with what it calls “a significant increase in student applications” coupled with “higher than average A level passes”, has announced that it will resort to bunkrooms in much of its accommodation. “The university has had to put around 800 people in bunk beds” according to the President of the Guild.

Immediately after the announcement on the Accommodation Offices’ Facebook page, dozens of angry and concerned comments have been flooding in. According to a FAQ released by the Accommodation Office, bunk rooms will contain only enough furniture for one person. That is one desk, one desk chair, one bedside lamp and cabinet and one wardrobe. The rooms will also include two under-bed storage boxes and internet facilities for both occupants. The sizes of the rooms overall will vary slightly, but the FAQ reported that “all bunk rooms are essentially a standard single study bedroom with a bunk bed or two single beds.”

A big issue for a lot of incoming students seems to be space and furniture for studying and writing. With only one wardrobe and very limited floor space, this leaves unanswered questions about where students will work and store their clothes, personal belongings and valuables. Arguments and transfers appear likely.

These are disappointing revelations in the already highly criticised handling of the housing crisis for first year students. Of course, shared rooms are nothing new for many university accommodations, but the fact that rooms designed for one person will be made to house two without enough furniture and floor space, and that many will have no choice but to accept the arrangement, is worrying many.

Indeed, the shortage of university accommodation is not a new phenomenon. Of course, the ideal solution would have been timely investment in housing, and with the University set to charge the maximum £9000 tuition fees, there seem to be few excuses. Some have even accused the University of being more concerned with its bottom line and leaving student welfare behind.

With bunkroom rates set as over half the price of single rooms, the slight discounts for bunkrooms will be a sour consolation. Claims that bunkrooms are there to meet the “financial abilities” of students and to help them “make friends” appear cynical.

Video provided by Aberystwyth University