The lack of accessible accommodation is claimed to have prevented some students from returning to Stirling for the new term in 2021.
Freshers’ week 2021 started on the 11 September. Since many students in second year haven’t been able to connect with other students and move out together, applications for student accommodation have flooded the university website.
Especially international students who rely on student accommodation services because they don’t have the network to find another place to stay.
Leen Ali, a 19-year-old fourth-year student from Sudan, has had a similar experience.
Ali said: “I have applied for student accommodation, but they had no space left,” she says when asked about her current situation.”
“The rejection has been sent to me in late August. I wish they would have given us earlier notice.”Leen Ali
Since May 2020 students have been able to notice a shortage of available flats in the city centre as well. After researching, it is apparent that a spare room to live in is difficult to find.
A University of Stirling spokesperson said: “The University’s Allocations Policy – agreed each year in consultation with our Students’ Union – guarantees accommodation for students in their first year of study and other priority groups.”
“All students within these groups have received an offer of accommodation for the 2021/22 academic year.”
Further, the university spokesperson explained the “students whose accommodation applications were unsuccessful were advised at the earliest possible opportunity”.
When asked about what the University could have done better Ali replied: “I think they should prioritise international students since we have no other option than to either get accommodation locally or stay in our home countries.”
Additionally, it’s hard for international students to compete in the rental market.
Many don’t have a U.K. guarantor to secure the place.
Agencies often ask for six months of rent upfront followed by a deposit to have more financial security for upcoming payments.
The pandemic caused a lot of problems for the real estate market.
“Regrettably, due to exceptional demand, we were unable to offer accommodation to some students outwith these priority groups.”Spokesperson of the University of Stirling
Feature Image Credit: University of Stirling