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Student quits university - after being offered accommodation an hour away

Charlotte Rowley was preparing to start university in the next few weeks but was told that she would have to live in Derby. Credit: BPM Media

An 18-year-old girl who was due to start at Nottingham Trent University this month has withdrawn from her course after she was told the only available accommodation for her was in Derby.

Charlotte Rowley, from Carlton, Nottinghamshire, said she is "absolutely devastated" after finding out she would need to travel on the bus for around an hour to get to Nottingham Trent University's (NTU) city campus, where she planned to study for a law degree.

She was preparing to start university in the next few weeks but was told on Monday (September 9) that she would have to live in Derby.

She has now decided to take a gap year.

"Initially I was in tears when I found out. Being that far away from the university is not where you want to be in first year.

"Finding out less than two weeks before I moved where I would be staying is not good enough either.

I didn't want to live at home because NTU has always been my second choice so I had living [away from home] in my mind and people who stay home find it harder to make friends.

"I’m not willing to do that when I could be going to a university I prefer and under better circumstances."

– Charlotte Rowley

Charlotte was offered accommodation at Abbey Lodge Student Village in Lonsdale Place, Derby, which is a former University of Derby halls of residence that is now private student accommodation.

Charlotte added: “I have decided to take a gap year and take some time to away from the stress and look again at my choices. I want to be confident when I start university and move out.

“This is my career but it does not feel like NTU care.”

A bus pass was offered to Charlotte by NTU to subsidise her travel to university, but Charlotte's mum, Sally Rowley, said she worried about her having the travel the long commute twice a day.

“NTU said they would provide accommodation for first year students, but we didn’t think it would be in Derby. She was absolutely devastated when she found that out.

“Staying in halls and on campus is how you make friends. This isn’t part of the university experience at all. Charlotte has bad anxiety too, so we really didn’t want her all the way in Derby.

“I’m a bit annoyed because she’s worked really hard like all the other kids and now this happened.

"We are doing this for the other families who don’t know where Derby is or realise how far it is from the university.”

– Sally Rowley

"Close to the start of term, most accommodation options near campus are allocated, but we are still able to place students in appropriate accommodation within commutable distances to the city, and in these circumstances provide support with transport costs."

“Students are free to stay in this accommodation or can move closer when places become available near campus.

"Last year a number of students who lived in Derby chose to stay there for the entire academic year despite accommodation being offered on or near campus after a short period.”

– Nottingham Trent University spokesperson

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