London is the go-to place for a great career — or that’s what many young people think. 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, totalling 154,720 submissions — there’s a lot you must consider when making the move to the capital.
Looking at a survey which questioned over 6,000 students on accommodation (the largest of its kind) — we discover what the best solution is for students who plan on moving to London.
*57% of students asked lived in halls of residence —meaning that they are overrepresented in the survey.
Living in halls
Most young people who plan on going to university think university halls of residence as their only option; regardless of whether this is the most expensive option. 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.
But who was satisfied with their accommodation? The survey mentioned earlier suggests 55% of undergraduate and 61% of postgraduates were. However, a sharp increase in dissatisfaction showed that 19% of undergraduates were dissatisfied with their accommodation, which was a 7% increase on results from 2012.
However, this report also suggested that 15% of postgraduate students weren’t happy — showing a 2% increase from 2012.
There were many factors that contributed to this divide, with the most common issue being cost — which 27% agreed with. 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.
Other complaints included unfriendly staff, the size of the room, poor internet connection, cleaning services, pest infestations, location, flatmates and fire alarms — which are notorious after a drunken night out.
Price ranges vary for accommodation in London — with options of going catered or 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 on which of course is dependent on building type and location.
Living in house shares
As mentioned above, more first-year students think about halls of residence before anything else. However, with the finer financial details coming into play — saving as many pennies as you can has become vital for prosperous students.
There was not a huge difference between accommodation satisfaction, with 55% of undergraduates and 60% of postgraduates saying they were happy. 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.
The biggest issues that led to dissatisfaction was the landlord; soon followed by damp 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.
Four out of ten people were paying less than £125 each week (excluding bills). 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.
But different student types led to a difference in price. 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 final decision
If you’re planning on moving to London, you must consider all aspects of the move. You also need to consider how you’re going to afford everything — if you’re getting out a student loan, will this cover it?
As this is likely the first time you’ll be moving away from home, it’s important to get it right. You don’t want to miss out any significant necessity’s — work with the mindset of what your financial situation will be.
You also need to look at what accommodation you would prefer. 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?
What about transport? University campuses are usually close to the university accommodation — so make sure if you do go for a flatshare, 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 is vital.
Remember, when you finally make the move — don’t forget the following items!
- Bottle opener
- Measuring jug
If you’re looking for a last-minute break from the pressures of studying, why not head to Oxford? Check the Oxford Tube times today and book your trip!