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Government looks to stop "studentification" in towns

Sep 29 2008 12:40
Andrew Holland
A Government commissioned report looks into the problem of student "ghost towns".
Private accommodation in London. Grim, isn't it?

A new Government report has identified the problem of "studentification" in neighbourhoods and towns. Neighbourhoods popular with students often empty during the summer, leaving local shops with three lean months a year and often catering mainly for a student market (takeaway anyone?). Furthermore, streets with many student residences often become scruffy and neglected, damaging relationships with local residents and businesses further.

To combat this, the government is looking to create more varied neighbourhoods, to avoid the student ghettos which are created. Suggestions being implemented around the country vary from building more purpose built student accommodation, to restricting the number of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs). The aim is to "blend the student populations into well mixed neighbourhoods", according to Housing Minister Caroline Flint.

Whilst London has not suffered from studentification as much as university towns such as Nottingham and Leeds (both having their populations increased by arround 10% due to university students), certain parts of London have been favoured by Imperial students. If HMOs are restricted, Imperial students may have to look further than a flat in West Kensington or Hammersmith for their private accommodation.

The NUS has opposed the plan. Wes Streeting, NUS President, believes that "added bureaucracy will discourage landlords from the HMO market". With the student debt level now averaging £17,500, students are often forced to seek out the cheapest available properties. It is feared that any further restrictions on landlords will lead to price rises as larger properties are restricted to fewer tenants. Some areas may become deviod of student housing altogether. With the student population due to rise in line with government targets, the problem is not likely to solve itself anytime soon.

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Discussion about “Government looks to stop "studentification" in towns”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Sep 29 2008 14:26
 

The photo really does not do that "house" justice.

2. Hmm.   
Sep 29 2008 15:13
 

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?

Sep 29 2008 18:40
 

"And as for scruffiness, how would restritcing the supply allow students to expect a higher standard of maintenance for their money?"

Where have you been for the last eleven years? We're under a Labour government now. Policies don't have to make sense.

Sep 30 2008 09:09
 

"If HMOs are restricted, Imperial students may have to look further than a flat in West Kensington or Hammersmith for their private accommodation".

I live in St. Johns. Very nice - no students!

Sep 30 2008 09:43
 

I know this isn't going to be popular amongst most students; but do we actually need a summer holiday, or at least a holiday quite so long?

If our degrees came down to 3 years with just 1 month off in the summer after exams, would this not be better (for everyone)?

6. Seb   
Sep 30 2008 10:13
 

Is there any other way that the Government can think of to screw students a bit more before they leave office?

Sep 30 2008 10:35
 

Well, Imperial students who were planning to go investment banks are pretty screwed...

8. Hmm.   
Sep 30 2008 10:50
 

"do we actually need a summer holiday, or at least a holiday quite so long?"

Yes, we need to work 3 months of the year to pay our way through.

Sep 30 2008 12:20
 

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!

10. What.   
Sep 30 2008 12:25
 

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!)

Sep 30 2008 18:43
 

Where is the house in the photo?! I think I might have lived there at some point.

And it was a dump.

Sep 30 2008 22:58
 

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.

Oct 01 2008 09:04
 

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!

14. ant   
Oct 02 2008 11:39
 

not to mention cramming anything as intellectually involving as a science/engineering degree into a densely packed 3 years probably wouldnt help the competence of our graduates

Oct 02 2008 11:52
 

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.

Oct 02 2008 22:43
 

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.

Feb 18 2012 14:15
 

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Feb 18 2012 14:16
 

Cass and Claredale <a href="http://www.cassandclaredale.co.uk/"> london student accommodation </a> provide good-value accommodation during term and summer for students studying in London

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