By Tom Fenton
Accommodation costs will skyrocket next year, with catered accommodation set to rise by almost 8.5% for freshers and finalists.
Those in catered ensuite rooms will see costs increase by almost 9%.
The main factor behind the soar is a 12% rise in the estimated food and utilities bill.
A standard room for freshers and graduating students will cost £6,819 up from £6,289 this academic year. An ensuite room will cost £7,104, almost £600 more than this year.
Accommodation for undergraduates who are not in their first or last year will cost £6,600 for a standard room and £6,885 for an ensuite room.
The last two years have seen a 5.6% rise in the cost of catered accommodation. In 2012/13, catered accommodation for Freshers and graduating students was £5,673 rising to £5,995 the next year.
The two major costs in the catering sector are staff (45% of the cost) and food (32%). The cost of delivering catering services to colleges next year will be £10 million whilst the cost of delivering accommodation services to colleges will be £27.2 million.
Prices for postgraduates and others will be released by the end of December.
An email sent to students defended the measures: “Living in College, with no further bills to pay (e.g. insurance, utility or internet), supported by College Officers, and with numerous social facilities on site, represent value for money.
“We anticipate high demand from returners wishing to reside in their College.”
The new prices in consultation with the Students’ Union, have been approved by the University Executive Committee.
However one second year who declined to give his name told Palatinate that the increased prices were “absurd” and “will put me off living back in college next year.”
Palatinate has contacted the Students’ Union for comment.
Photograph: Emma Werner