Glasgow Uni emails students advising them to drop out if they haven’t found accommodation yet

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“It made me feel alienated and excluded”

The University of Glasgow has sent an email to students advising them to ‘suspend’ their studies or ‘withdraw’ from the university if they have not yet found accommodation.

Students have struggled all summer to find accommodation, with the university admitting there is “increasingly limited accommodation” in the city.

In the email, the university said failure to follow its advice could have “significant impacts” on students, although it did not specify what those impacts would be.

It reads: “If you have not yet secured accommodation in Glasgow, the university strongly advises students NOT to complete enrollment or enrollment or travel to Glasgow until you have have not done. Not following these tips can have serious impacts on you. It may be more appropriate for you to suspend your studies or withdraw.

The university says there has not been a significant increase in student numbers and has increased its number of available rooms by 25% this year. He says the crisis is caused by a “contraction” of the private market and that “like most urban universities, we cannot guarantee housing for returning students”.

Grace, a third-year student at the University of Glasgow, says she has already paid £20,000 in tuition fees and thinks the university’s advice not to enroll for the year shows ‘no consideration” for the welfare of the students.

“They ask me to consider not continuing my studies. It’s a real shame that such an excellent university doesn’t care about the welfare of its students,” said the history and politics student.

Layla*, who wishes to remain anonymous, is “hopefully” a masters student in stem cell engineering. She says “I hope” because she is still looking for accommodation.

She told The Glasgow Tab: “The uncertainty has been traumatic, the university has left information about the housing crisis at the very last minute so it is not possible to accept any further offers or make other arrangements,” she said.

The university has already been in contact with students about the housing crisis. In emails seen by The Glasgow Tab show on September 9, the university told students not to travel to the city if they had not yet found accommodation.

This email was sent a day before Glasgow University’s ‘Welcome Week’, the university’s name for its Freshers’ Week.

The email provided a number of links to advice pages and directed students to the SU Advice Center and their “Fearless Hunting Guide”. Beyond that, they told “concerned” students to email their “study advisor” or “program officer.”

Raveena, an undergraduate neuroscience student, argued that was not enough. She said, “It’s ridiculous, we pay so much to come and they should be more helpful and understanding!” Why can’t they rent or buy existing buildings or be better prepared? »

On its website, the University of Glasgow says it has “significantly increased the number of beds” this year and blames the shortage on the city as there has been “no significant additional capacity in the city”. The university also told The Glasgow Tab that it is currently housing 30 students in hotel beds across the city until the end of the month to help them find accommodation.

A screenshot of the current accommodation advice on the University of Glasgow website

For many students, having had enough of online university during Covid, they decided to ignore university advice and opted to commute rather than postpone or withdraw from their studies.

However, unlike Covid, most conferences are online this year. We asked some of these students about the commutes they are taking due to Glasgow’s housing crisis and how it will impact them.

“I spend more time on trains and in stations than at university,” explains Alex, a translation graduate, “I also can’t have a social life because of the last trains, so I feel so The response from the uni was absolutely shocking, saying they can’t help when I think they are partly to blame for the crisis.

A University of Glasgow spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, due to a significant contraction in the private rental market, demand for rooms continues to be significantly above expectations both in Glasgow and more broadly. in the UK Like most city universities, we cannot guarantee accommodation for returning students.

“As part of our efforts to address the issue, we have increased the number of rooms under University management by 25% for this academic year. We have focused – as is our usual policy – ​​on accommodating first-year undergraduate students who live a significant distance from our campus. There has been no significant increase in the number of students this year.

“We have taken a number of hotel rooms on a temporary basis until the end of the month to help students who are struggling to find residential accommodation. About 30 hotel beds are currently in use. We continue to advise students not to travel to Glasgow unless they have pre-arranged accommodation.

“To address the housing availability issues in Glasgow, we are already taking steps to increase housing supply for years to come and we continue to engage with private providers and with local government on market-related issues. private rental in the city.

“We understand the concern students have about finding accommodation for the new semester, and we are taking a number of steps to support our students and ensure continuity of learning where possible. In some cases, our guidance may include suspending studies for that academic year while ensuring that students continue to have access to University systems and services.Full guidance is available from student study advisors and the Center board of the Student Representative Council, which also provided advice to students on finding accommodation.

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