Mid Wales

Bunk beds to solve housing crisis at Aberystwyth uni

Aberystwyth University
Image caption The university is giving non-UK European students the option of deferring entry for a year

Aberystwyth University is introducing bunk beds in an attempt to combat student accommodation problems.

Last month the university asked overseas students to consider deferring for a year because of an "exceptional year for student recruitment".

Officials have now written to new students asking them to take up the offer of rooms with bunk beds.

Aberystwyth Guild of Students said the situation was not ideal, but was better than students being forced to drop out.

A lack of accommodation has been an issue at the university over the last few years.

Guild of students president Ben Meakin said admissions had "shot up again this year", something which the guild expected to happen "due to the scramble to miss £9,000 fees which are introduced next year".

The university is now introducing rooms with two single beds or a bunk bed to solve the shortage issue.

Prof April McMahon, the university's vice-chancellor, said: "Bunk rooms have proved a popular solution at other universities and allow us to provide accommodation to more of our students in this exceptional year."

She said the room set up would also ensure first year students, often leaving home for the first time, were able to quickly make friends with other students in a similar situation.

Prof McMahon said it also recognised the "growing pressures" on the finances of students and provided an "affordable option against a backdrop of increasing costs."

Ben Meakin, president of the Guild of Students, said "clearly" the university did not see how big of an impact the increase in admissions would have on places.

He added: "Although we recognise that bunk rooms are not ideal for many of you, we do think that this is a better option than seeing students being forced to live in hotels, B&Bs, caravans or in the worst case being forced to drop out.

"We are working closely with the university to make sure that all those in bunk rooms receive the same fantastic Aberystwyth experience throughout freshers and the rest of the year."

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