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NEWS ROUNDUP: Uni accommodation shortage


14/09/21 | A university is being forced to offer new students accommodation 40 miles away because of a chronic housing shortage.

The University of York is offering students housing an hour's drive away in Hull due to a shortage of accommodation in the historic city.

The crisis has been sparked by an over-subscription on the university's courses which has created a surge in demand for student housing.

In an email sent to a number of students, the Uni said: “Unfortunately there are no available rooms across the city of York, either on or off campus to offer you.”

Students who have been offered Hull accommodation are being given a 10 per cent reduction in rent.

The email read: “We have been able to negotiate additional student accommodation in Hull, located within or adjacent to the University of Hull campus, and we are now in a position to offer you a room within this accommodation.

“We recognise that this isn’t what you were anticipating in terms of where you’d be living when you join the University of York.

"Therefore the rooms we have secured will be offered to you at a 10% reduced rate.”

Monty, a fresher who has been offered accommodation in Hull, told The York Tab: “I applied to York through clearing and was fortunate enough to receive an offer for Educational Psychology.

"Weeks passed without hearing anything from the accommodation team, which was rather unsettling.

"Then on Friday, I received an email that said how York was unable to find any student accommodation in the city itself, neither private nor halls.

“Their best suggestion as a result of this was to live in student accommodation in Hull, an hour away from York and therefore having to get a shuttle bus too and from uni.

"I know that they have been massively oversubscribed this year and that’s why we are in this situation but I still don’t have a place to live in York.

"As you can probably imagine, I’m not most pleased about it.

"Living an hour away during Freshers’ Week is not ideal.”

Students who put York as their firm choice are guaranteed accommodation in York, but those who secured their place through Clearing, have been left in a scramble for private accommodation or have been offered housing in Hull.

Dylan, another York fresher who secured his place through clearing said: “There are still students without any accommodation at all, and so when I was given the option to live in Hull, for me it was a huge relief.

"For weeks now I have been stressing about the serious lack of a room, as I know many have been, and I was pretty much prepared to defer for a year and I know many already had.

He continued: “Personally I was pretty impressed by the university’s resolution for us, although I know a lot of students still have no accommodation.”

A spokesperson for The University of York said: “There has been unprecedented demand for University-provided accommodation across the country, including in York.

"The location in Hull is a temporary measure as we expect new purpose-built accommodation on campus in York to be available from January 2022.

"We have very close connections with nearby Hull, as the University of York Medical School is based across campuses in both York and Hull.”

“We are finalising (free of charge) transport arrangements for our students who will be based in Hull, and will be providing them with more information about this imminently.

"We will also be discounting accommodation costs by 10% for these students and providing all of our normal welfare support.

"We understand this situation is far from ideal, and we are very sorry for the inconvenience this is causing, but we are committed to looking after all of our students during their time studying with us.”

(SWNS | Joe Pagnelli)



A British holidaymaker brought a lingerie-loving lizard on a 4,000-mile journey from sunny Barbados – after it hid inside her BRA.

Barbie the lizard stuffed herself inside unsuspecting Lisa Russell’s F-cup bra and swapped the warm beaches of the Caribbean for rainy Rotherham, South Yorks.

The tiny globe-trotting gecko was busted when the 47-year-old beautician unpacked her suitcase to find the reptile hiding away.

Lisa said the reptile was lucky he found refuge in one of her clean bras – as it was so hot she didn’t bother to wear one.

She said: “I thought it was a tiny dead creature and then when it moved I started screaming - it is not what you expect to find in your bra after a 4,000-mile journey.

“The tiny lizard was lucky as the bra was on top of my suitcase on my clean pile - as it was so hot out there I didn’t bother wearing one.

"It must have been happy in its new pad.

“I am just so shocked not only did it survive the journey but also the fact it didn’t get squashed as my suitcase was so full when we were returning I had to sit on it to get it zipped up.

“It must have been in my suitcase for at least 24 hours as I packed it on Monday morning - local time - and started unpacking at lunchtime the following day.”

Lisa called the RSPCA to rescue the jet-lagged lizard who usually live in warm areas in their natural habitat.

She added: “I wasn't sure what to do - but managed to put it safely in a box and then called the RSPCA for help.”

Sandra Dransfield, from the RSPCA, was sent to collect baby gecko and named her Barbie after the busty doll and the island from where she came.

Sandra aid: “Lisa was quite relaxed about the whole thing and thought it was funny that the gecko had safely made the trans-Atlantic crossing in her bra.

“Unlike a lot of women the lizard must have found it comfy.

“She was laughing and said to me ‘imagine taking a nap and then waking up in Rotherham!’

“The gecko has travelled more than 4,000 miles and appears unscathed by her adventure and unlike most holidaymakers did not need to have Covid tests.

“She had some water droplets which I sprayed into her container and then she seemed fine.

“I am just glad Lisa called us as some people may think to release animals like this into the wild, which is illegal as they are a non-native species and also sad as they would not survive in our climate.”

The gecko was taken in by a specialist reptile keeper where she is doing well.

(SWNS | Joe Pagnelli)

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