This rather assumes that HMOs = students. When I lived out in a multiple-occupancy house of about 15 bedsits, maybe 2 other rooms were occupied by students- the others were lone migrant (to the UK or just into London) workers. Friends in "student" houses were more likely to rent a whole property with a joint contract.
And as for scruffiness, how would restritcing the supply allow students to expect a higher standard of maintenance for their money?
Or take a gap year working before university rather than 3 month stints. If uni was only 3 years long it would be the status quo regarding graduation age and solve the `studentification'
In fact, if we worked for a year at a firm after A-levels and the firm really liked us maybe we would consider going to university at all. Then who knows; the culture of `buy now pay later' that's the crooks of this credit crunch might begin to change!
The point of university is not to get through it all as fast as possible (if you think it is, then may be missing out on a lot). Most people I know reach 4 years and then still feel unready to face the world of work.
This "studentification" doesn't apply so much to imperial as lots of people are around London over most of the summer anyway (may as well make the most of that 12month ?120pp/w contract!)
I don't think "What." is your real name, but If you do the maths, then you would have worked out that by working for a year and then doing three years without summer holidays equates to the same as a four year course.
What I proposed would also have the added benefit of students saving up for a university education rather than paying on credit and leaving with quite so much debt.
A three-year intensive course wouldn't work at a research-intensive university. The summer is often the only opportunity for many academics to focus solely on their research without teaching (lectures, coursework marking, exams etc) getting in the way. It's also the only chance to produce new teaching material (I know, I know, that rarely happens in most subjects).
The 3 month gap isn't for the benefit of undergraduates!
But it would have the distinct advantage of avoiding 'brain fade' over the summer. Unless students have been actively using what they have learnt over the summer, they tend to come back knowing less than they when they left, and aren't as sharp.
How many bother refreshing their memories during September?
But ant is right and I suspect you'd get more drop-outs or people burning out before they finished.
Would a shorter summer, but longer Christmas and Easter breaks be more sensible? It would reduce debt levels as students could earn money during the year, rather than slaving away for 3 months in the summer to pay off their debts.
Three months is the perfect time for work, it means you can get a settled job and have a breather for a week or two. Working for a year first seems not too bright for reasons already mentioned. Also your potential to find work increases by a fair bit once you are a student.
If they have issues with students flats they should encourage the landlords to rent out the flats over the summer, the landlord of the house pictured above rents the house over the summer to tourists at a very reasonable price apparently! In the end of the day its the landlords house and if he wants it scruffy and unused for 3 months a year thats his choice.