King's College graduate students have faced last-minute changes to their accommodation, and accompanying billsLouis Ashworth

Graduates at King’s College have faced significant disruptions and misinformation regarding their accommodation for this year. In addition to a last-minute revision of college bills, students have been allocated rooms outside of their requested price brackets, at a greater cost.

Due to oversubscription of the cheapest bands, students were instead randomly allocated across the bands. Accommodation at King’s is organised into six rent bands, with Band 1 offering the cheapest rent at £1540.18 per quarter, and Band 6 at £2327.53 per quarter. Incoming graduates were given the option of opting into one of these price bands, according to their individual needs.

One King’s Graduate who wishes to remain anonymous told Varsitythat the only control they had in choosing accommodation was the option to request the cheapest band available. “However,” they continued, “as many students opted [for the cheapest room], they randomly allocated more expensive bands.”

“Effectively, we were given no option whatsoever.”

Some of those allocated the more expensive Band 6 accommodation then discovered the accommodation they were paying for was not built yet. Garden Hostel on West Road “is still unfinished, so many of us are living in Wolfson Court (St. John’s overflow accommodation).”

They added, “The wifi at [Wolfson] Court was non-functional when we arrived.”

Online information about when Garden Hostel will be completed is sparse, but is detailed on the college website as open to students from Autumn 2019. Another King’s graduate, said that the college had given December as the month residents would be able to move, but official information has remained vague.

Moreover, Wolfson Court accommodation has been described as inadequate for the prices students are being required to pay.

In addition, issues with payment have been ongoing. On October 11th, after college bills were issued to all members of King’s, an email sent from the accommodation officer detailed an added Kitchen Fixed Charge of roughly £160 to £200 which one graduate said had not been mentioned in the originally quoted rent on their licence agreements.

The email said, “If you are a new student, I am afraid the figure quoted in your welcome letter did not include the Kitchen Fixed Charge or Insurance, as this new charging system had not yet been finalised.”

“Therefore the amount outlined in your bill will be higher”.

Despite the college acknowledging the mistake of their omission (claiming that the new charging system had not been finalised), another anonymous King’s source stated, “they only told us about the increase after being asked by students about the rent situation.”


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“Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t have told us and we would have been charged more, I guess.”

King’s College was approached for comment but as of yet have not responded. However, the Graduate Admissions Service website states that, “Although many full-time graduates are housed by their Colleges...few Colleges can house all their student members.”

This comes at a time of significantly rising prices of student housing across the UK. Data collected by the National Union of Students has demonstrated that rents accounted for 73% of the maximum student loan last year, compared with 58% in 2011-12.

Rent Strike campaigns, notably beginning in London universities during 2016/17, have held Cut The Rent strikes across UK universities, with Cambridge’s Newnham College hosting its own protest and banner display in February earlier this year.

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