Students who spend longer looking for accommodation are more likely to get value for money, a recent survey of university accommodation has found. Partly commissioned by Unipol, the Student Housing Preferences Survey polled 5,301 students from the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
The survey also found that students in private houses or flats were more likely to find that they had value for money than students in larger developments (housing ten or more students), or students living in on-campus accommodation. Most students living in private houses or flats rated their accommodation as ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ value for money, compared to 34% for larger developments and 26% for halls on campus.
Students cited more competitive pricing and the prospect of more independence as some of the lures for private housing, although many expressed their irritation at unfair security deposit arrangements in both private rented housing and larger developments. Similarly, some felt that the contract arrangements were too inflexible, committing a tenant to a 12-month contract when they were likely only to occupy the house during term-time.
28% of those living in halls felt that the package provided on campus was not good value for money, with food featuring high on the list of grievances: “If the food was better it might justify the extortionate prices”, one respondent argued.