You’ve secured a place at a prestigious London university to study for the next three to four years, now you’re making the move. 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.
Whenever life as a student gets too much, remember that you can always take look at the Oxford tube times and book a trip away from the busy city. However, for this article, we take a look at the Student Accommodation Survey of 2015 to give you a greater insight to living in London.
Are you moving into halls of residence?
A lot of students moving to the capital will only consider halls of residence when making the move. 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.
But who was happy with their student halls? According to the survey, 55% of undergraduate and 61% of postgraduates were. 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 postgraduate students were not happy with their living arrangements.
One main problem for students seemed to be the cost — with 27% saying so. 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.
Renting a room in a hall of residence can vary in price and ultimately comes down to whether you opt for a catered or self-catered experience. 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.
Are you moving into a house share?
House shares are often not considered for first year students. However, with the finer financial details coming into play — saving as many pennies as you can has become vital for prosperous students. From the same survey, when it came to shared flats/houses in London, 55% of undergraduates and 60% of postgraduate students were satisfied with their accommodation. 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.
There were many issues that students in house shares experienced, with the landlord being the main one. This also led to problems around damp, mould and the overall condition of the property. 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.
The price of a house share differed to halls of residence, with almost four in ten people paying 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.
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
Whether you’ve already made your decision this year or plan on moving to London next year, research must be carried out. You also need to consider how you’re going to afford everything — if you’re getting out a student loan, will this cover it?
This can be a daunting prospect for many students. You don’t want to miss out any important necessities — work with the mindset of what your financial situation will be.
Which accommodation type will suit your needs? 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?
Not only that, you must consider transport. Transport is another area that you must consider. 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.
As a light-hearted reminder, you must not forget the following items when moving away from home!
- Bottle opener.
- Measuring jug.
*57% of students asked lived in halls of residence —meaning that they are overrepresented in the survey.