The Head of UCL’s student accommodation has been given an ultimatum: either the rent is cut or protests will resume in the new year.
UCL Cut The Rent last night handed Duncan Palmer, the interim Head of Student Accommodation, a petition, signed by over 500 students, pleading for rents to be lowered. The student movement argues that despite all of last year’s demonstration nothing has changed.
UCL has some of the highest student accommodation fees in the UK. Last year, this set off a wave of protests that culminated into a highly-advertised demonstration on Tottenham Court Road, close to UCL’s main campus.
Despite all this, UCL’s accommodations have not seen a cut in their rents.
Fay on-Ryan, a first year student and activist for UCL Cut The Rent, told Pi Media that £750,000 has been put aside by the accommodation office for student bursaries. Despite this, Cut The Rent believe that they have been very poorly advertised, not allowing students to benefit from the fund.
Fay spoke of one instance where a prospective student who was afraid of not being able to pay was told to take a gap year in order to earn some money.
UCL Cut The Rent met with Mr Palmer last night as the latest in a series of attempts to combat what they see as unfair rent-levels. The student movement asked for a 10% reduction rent fees.
They gave the the interim head a deadline of December 1 to decide on whether to implement the cuts. If this condition is not met, they have threatened to inaugurate a new year of protests starting January 1 2017.
[kopa_blockquote]They gave the the interim head a deadline of December 1 to decide on whether to implement the cuts. If this condition is not met, they have threatened to inaugurate a new year of protests starting January 1 2017.[/kopa_blockquote]
This proposal came the day before Central London witnessed a wider student protest against the government’s new education plans.
Additional reporting by Lucy Bacon