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EDITIONS
 Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 01:37 GMT 02:37 UK
Students 'priced out' of privatised halls
Students in halls of residence
Students are "losing the benefit" of staying in halls
Students from poor families cannot afford to live in privatised halls of residence, according to a study by public service union Unison.

Researchers found rents had been set at inflation-busting rates at about 12 higher education establishments that have accommodation contracts with private companies.

Less well-off students are being pushed into the private rental market or lower standard accommodation

Chris Fabby
Unison

The monthly rate for student nurses housed by Luton and Dunstable NHS Trust at Luton University rose from 177 to 244 after they were moved to Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracted accommodation.

Unison's national young members officer Chris Fabby said: "Better-off students stay in the nice accommodation.

"Less well-off students are being pushed into the private rental market or lower standard accommodation, and losing the benefit of staying within halls of residence and the welfare services they provide."

Rising costs

The increases are "top-up fees through the back door", according to former National Union of Students (NUS) vice-president of welfare Rachel Cashman.

"Accommodation costs are rising in some areas at almost three times the rate of inflation," she said.

"Universities are trying to privatise large chunks of their student accommodation.

"The priority for a lot of these private companies is building accommodation for conferences in the vacations rather than building a home for students during term-time."

See also:

21 Feb 02 | Education
20 Feb 02 | Education
20 Feb 02 | Education
20 Feb 02 | Education
20 Feb 02 | Education
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