Students prepare for further rent strikes
Five-month rent strikes at UCL were successful.
The NUS is calling for a system where 25% of all university bed spaces are offered at 50% of the maximum amount of maintenance loan available. The union is pledging legal guidance, support in petitioning university management and a safe account where students can deposit their accommodation fees.
Asquith said rent strikes had the potential to spread across UK universities. “When people first hear about rent strikes they think, ‘That sounds a bit scary,’ but where they have happened lots of students who don’t see themselves as political have got involved because they see hundreds of other people in their halls doing it. It’s about strength in numbers.”
At Sussex University, 1,000 students who live on campus have signed a petition calling for rent caps. A second-year English student at the university, who did not wish to be named, said they had been inspired by the success of the UCL campaign.
He added: “In 2010 students cared about tuition fees because that was the big issue. Now students live very different lives: rates of mental illness are much higher, many, many more people are in work – around 60% of students have to work now. Students aren’t as comfortable as they used to be and as life gets tougher people are stopping caring about huge policy issues and thinking, ‘I’m finding it increasingly difficult to live in Brighton and study on campus’.”' - Guardian