Results day is here — you’ve finally gained your place at your dream university in London. Whether you’re planning to study a subject allied to medicine, which was most popular amongst women with 226,420 applicants or looking for a business and administration degree which most men were drawn to, totalling 154,720 submissions — there’s a lot you must consider when making the move.
Using the largest student accommodation survey, we’ve partnered with Oxford Tube to find out the cheaper alternative when moving to London. Will you opt for halls or go straight for a house share?
Moving into student halls
As students begin to look for their accommodation, student halls become an instinctive choice. Moving into accommodation is all part of the student lifestyle and there are many benefits of this, including the easiness of making friends within the university and that most of them are on campus or close by.
When students were asked in the survey, 55% of undergraduate and 61% of postgraduates were happy with their accommodation. However, a sharp increase in dissatisfaction showed that 19% of undergraduates were dissatisfied with their accommodation which was 7% increase on results from 2012.
However, 15% of postgraduates weren’t happy which also showed a 2% increase on 2012. The largest contributing factor to this problem was the cost, according to 27% of students. Common complaints surrounding university halls were related to plumbing, water and heating problems at 25% but it must be made clear that these problems should be fixed by the accommodation itself.
Other complaints included unfriendly staff, the size of the room, poor internet connection, cleaning services, pest infestations, location, flatmates and fire alarms — which are notorious after a drunken night out.
But the cost of accommodation changes whether the student opts for catered or self-catered. Using University College London (UCL) 2018/19 accommodation fees as a guideline, a singled catered room would range from £173.88-£180.67. If you wanted to go self-catered, this would be priced around £165.69-£242.62 depending which of course is dependent on building type and location.
Moving into a house share
You probably haven’t considered moving straight into a flat share for your first year of university. However, with the finer financial details coming into play — saving as many pennies as you can has become vital for prosperous students.
Many people seemed to be pleased with their chosen house-share in the survey, more specifically 55% of undergraduates and 60% of post-grads. But were the expectations for students upheld when they moved into their flat? Well, looking at results from 2012-2014, dissatisfaction increased by 4% for undergraduates and 5% for postgraduates.
London’s landlords are notorious for charging extortionate rates for small living spaces, which is probably why ‘people’ came up as a common student complaint, small spaces mean that you might be too close to comfort with people — all of the time.
According to the survey, four in ten people paid less than £125 a week. The majority of students from this survey, accounting for 31% said that they paid £126-£150 each week. This was soon followed by 26% that said that they paid £100-£125 each week.
Although, it might be worth knowing that this changes depending on where you come from. As average rents can increase due to London’s high rents— we found that students from the UK paid an average of £134.08. Students from the European Union found themselves paying £140.43 and non-EU students were paying £150.35.
Making the decision
Make sure that you have all of the relevant information at hand before you jump into any decision. You also need to consider how you’re going to afford everything — if you’re getting out a student loan, will this cover it?
Be confident with your decision, this will become a huge milestone in your life. You don’t want to miss out any important necessity’s — work with the mindset of what your financial situation will be.
Will you go for self-catered or catered? Alternatively, if you go for a flat share — are you prepared to pay for bills that may not be included in your weekly rent, and put up with the landlords?
Remember to think about your transport methods too, check out the London bus timetables to plan your journey. University campuses are usually close to the university accommodation — so make sure if you do go for a flat share, you’re close by. Of course, all of this does come down to personal preference but making sure that you’re happy with what you have it vital.