Students across the UK are preparing to hold the largest rent strike in four decades as anger continues to mount over the exuberant fee being charged by universities for accommodation.
The rent strikes are expected to be held after the Christmas holiday in protest of the premium rates they are being charged. Students have argued that these rates should come down, due to the curtailed university experience that has been caused by the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Rent strikes across the country
The frustration has also largely been contributed by the idea that they are being asked to return back to school so that these universities could make a quick buck on the backs of the students. Students protesting in these rent strikes argue that they are being lured back to classes under false pretenses.
Across the country, hundreds of students from Oxford, Sussex, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Goldsmith have already vowed to stage the rent strikes in the new year.
National Union of Students (NUS) president Larissa Kennedy, in an interview, indicated that students were lied to when they were told to go back to school and that safety measures had not been set. She argued that the logic behind the luring of students to schools was for these universities and the government to make money through the exploitation of students’ fees and rent.
So far, these groups have started having few wins, with the University of Manchester agreeing to a concession and reducing the cost of resident halls by 30 percent in the autumn. Sheffield University, after much pressure, has also agreed in refunding a total of £1 million to cover for the final fortnight of the term.
Oxford and Cambridge students have also taken an active role in rent strikes by threatening to withhold their rent fees. For Oxford, they are demanding a 30 percent reduction and support for those who may end up getting coronavirus and have to quarantine in school residential. Cambridge has also demanded a 30 percent reduction for the upcoming academic year and a 10 percent permanent reduction.
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