By Alice Clarke, SU Correspondent
The Bristol Students' Union officer team have released a statement following the news that many incoming first-years have been potentially left without accommodation or are to be housed out of the city.
The University of Bristol has announced a package of financial incentives to encourage incoming students to defer a year after an unprecedented number of A-Level students achieved their entry offers. However, due to these unprecedented numbers, University accommodation is at full-capacity.
Bristol Uni is offering new students a financial incentive to defer their entry until Sept 2022, amid the unprecedented number of students achieving the grades of their entry offer, challenging the uni’s capacity on some courses and in halls accommodation.https://t.co/QFFxrqRCl4— Epigram (@EpigramPaper) August 16, 2021
In their statement, the SU officers acknowledged concerns:
‘Whilst we’re pleased that more students have met the terms of their offer this year, we are aware that the increase in student numbers has understandably put a huge amount of pressure on student accommodation and will likely impact other services.
‘It’s extremely disappointing that there are large numbers of students who are searching for accommodation so close to the start of term. Suggesting locations outside of Bristol is not acceptable, particularly as accommodation can have a huge impact on wellbeing.’
The team have reassured students that they are committed to supporting those impacted:
‘We’re working with the university to make sure that appropriate support is being provided to all students currently without accommodation, or who have been offered accommodation outside of Bristol. We’re putting pressure on the university to make sure that this does not happen again and are asking for:
· Accommodation subsidies
· Increased transport options, in addition to the transport bursary
· 24/7 Wellbeing provision for students not in Bristol
· Community building activities for students not in Bristol.’
The SU Officers referenced the University of Bristol's expansion, stating: ‘As a team, we will be lobbying the university to halt their unsustainable expansion. We’re seriously concerned the University and the city are not prepared for the consistent growth in student numbers and the effect this will have on individual students. We’re specifically asking for:
·Proper study space provision
·Increase in staffing, particularly wellbeing support staff, to match the growth in student numbers
·Protected time for extra-curricular activities.’
On information about accommodation for non-guaranteed undergraduate applicants, the University of Bristol's accommodation webpage at present states, ‘We may have a limited number of rooms become available in coming weeks, although these may be in nearby areas, such as Bath, or in shared rooms.’
Featured Image: Epigram / Rosie Angel-Clark
If you are an incoming student and have any questions regarding accommodation, you can contact the university on 0117 95 46640. The call centre is open 9:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday.