A surge in the number of 18-year-olds combined with a lack of housing and landlords switching to Airbnb create a perfect storm that has left many UK students without accommodation. 18-year-old Jessie Smith is one of the students affected by the crisis. She was delighted to get the top grades she needed last month to study at Manchester University. However, she soon discovered that all the university’s student halls were full, and she would be forced to accept accommodation in Liverpool.
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Sarah Smith, Jessie’s mother, who works as a PA in Sheffield, said she feels “frightened and disgusted” about her daughter living so far from the university. Manchester has offered £100 a week to cover commutes for students in Jessie’s position, but Sarah says this is not enough.
Many other students have found themselves in similar situations, with some even having to live in cities several hours away from their chosen university. The situation has been described as a “perfect storm” by Paul Denton, president of the National Union of Students (NUS).
The number of 18-year-olds in the UK has risen by 9% since 2010, but the number of homes available for students has not kept pace with this increase. At the same time, landlords are increasingly choosing to list their properties on Airbnb instead of renting to students, as they can make more money from tourists.
The NUS calls on the government to invest in more student housing and introduce regulations that would make it harder for landlords to list their properties on Airbnb. In the meantime, students like Jessie Smith are being forced to make the best of a difficult situation.
In a recent study, NUS found that one in three students have considered dropping out of their course due to problems with their accommodation. This is a worrying trend, and it is clear that something needs to be done to address the housing crisis facing UK students.
In addition, the NUS is also calling on universities to do more to support students who find themselves in difficult situations. Jessie Smith’s mother, Sarah, says her daughter has been left feeling “distressed and anxious” by the whole experience. More needs to be done to help students like Jessie cope with their challenges.
The housing crisis facing UK students is a complex problem, and there is no easy solution. However, something needs to be done to address the issue. The NUS calls on the government to invest in more student housing and introduce regulations that would make it harder for landlords to list their properties on Airbnb. In the meantime, students like Jessie Smith are being forced to make the best of a difficult situation.
What do you think of the housing crisis facing UK students? Let us know in the comments below.
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