Are you planning on moving to London for university this year? Whether you’re planning to study a subject allied to medicine, which was most popular amongst women with 226,420 applicants or looking for a business and administration degree which most men were drawn to, totaling 154,720 submissions — there’s a lot you must consider when making the move.
Oxford Tube, who have reliable bus times in London have created this article using the largest student accommodation survey available — questioning 6,000 students in London on whether halls of residence or house shares are more financially viable.
Should you move into student halls?
First years will instantly think of halls of residence when moving to university. Moving into accommodation is all part of the student lifestyle and there are many benefits of this, including the easiness of making friends within the university and that most of them are on campus or close by.
It must be known that 55% of undergrad and 61% of post grad students were happy with their circumstances. However, a sharp increase in dissatisfaction showed that 19% of undergraduates were dissatisfied with their accommodation which was 7% increase on results from 2012.
However, some students were not pleased with their accommodation — including 15% of postgraduates.
One of the biggest problems was cost — with 27% of survey respondents saying so. Common complaints surrounding university halls were related to plumbing, water and heating problems at 25% but it must be made clear that these problems should be fixed by the accommodation itself.
There are usually two accommodation options available to first year students, including catered and self-catered. Using University College London (UCL) 2018/19 accommodation fees as a guideline, a singled catered room would range from £173.88-£180.67. If you wanted to go self-catered, this would be priced around £165.69-£242.62 depending which of course is dependent on building type and location.
Should you move into a house share?
House shares are becoming a more common thought for first year students in London. However, with the finer financial details coming into play — saving as many pennies as you can has become vital for prosperous students.
Showing similar results to halls of residence, students seemed to be pleased with their home — 55% of undergrads and 60% of postgrads. But were the expectations for students upheld when they moved into their flat? Well, looking at results from 2012-2014, dissatisfaction increased by 4% for undergraduates and 5% for postgraduates.
But there were other problems too. When looking to see why they were dissatisfied with their housing, the landlord seemed to be a common problem — which became the foundation of where other problems arose including damp, mould and size. London’s landlords are notorious for charging extortionate rates for small living spaces, which is probably why ‘people’ came up as a common student complaint, small spaces mean that you might be too close to comfort with people — all of the time.
Excluding bills, students tend to pay an average of £125 a week. The majority of students from this survey, accounting for 31% said that they paid £126-£150 each week. This was soon followed by 26% that said that they paid £100-£125 each week.
However, the price did vary on the background of the student. As average rents can increase due to London’s high rents— we found that students from the UK paid an average of £134.08. Students from the European Union found themselves paying £140.43 and non-EU students were paying £150.35.
The right decision for you
Although this article has shown you a brief insight to living in London, you must carry out further research with specific accommodation providers and potential landlords. You also need to consider how you’re going to afford everything — if you’re getting out a student loan, will this cover it?
Be confident with your decision. You don’t want to miss out any important necessities — work with the mindset of what your financial situation will be.
As well as this, will you go for self-catered or catered if you do pick halls of residence? Alternatively, if you go for a flat share — are you prepared to pay for bills that may not be included in your weekly rent, and put up with the landlords?
Think about transportation links too. University campuses are usually close to the university accommodation — so make sure if you do go for a flat share, you’re close by. Of course, all of this does come down to personal preference but making sure that you’re happy with what you have it vital.