Established in early 2015, the ‘Cut the Rent Campaign’ was formed by students in Cambridge who were extremely frustrated with the continuous rise of rent prices. The campaign is currently active in three colleges, giving awareness to a nationwide problem lived by students. The cost of student accommodation is particularly daunting when most of termly maintenance loans are being used to pay for rent. Furthermore, students are then left with little money to fund the basic cost of living.
The Cut the Rent Campaign is presently active at Murray Edwards College as well as Robinson and Magdalene. Protestors are reaching a breakthrough as campaign representatives at Robinson and Magdalene are hoping to present their case to the respective college authorities in the next two weeks.
Not Value for Money
The aim of the campaign urges colleges to reduce their room rent charges, with students are outlining their main issues as high prices for unsatisfactory accommodation. All three colleges have been criticised for not providing value for money housing whilst grossly overcharging their students.
Murray Edwards charges students for accommodation within categories. The highest band of single, Undergraduate rooms cost £1,969 per term with a 39-week license. The lowest band is priced at £1,608. These prices also include: overhead charges, network connection and medical taxi scheme charges.
Magdalene rent prices are standardised for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The most expensive single rooms are £1,421 per term. The cheapest rooms are £1,016. At Robinson, the highest priced rooms are £1,995 whilst the “value” rooms are £1,330.
The Campaign is Making Headway
During the week, a Cut the Rent petition has been circulated around Robinson, with hopes of gaining a significant response. The consensus amongst students is that the high rent prices are greatly affecting students who aren’t from “traditional Oxbridge backgrounds”, as stated by campaign organiser Matt Kite.
Campaigners are aiming to create a feeling of collective concern for the welfare of students whilst in these accommodations. Students need to study to maintain grades, yet they are spending their would-be study time working to pay the rent. Although they for expensive rooms, students are also left to deal with the faulty maintenance of their accommodations. Overall, it is a hazardous experience and one that is certainly not worth the money that students are forced to pay.