Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Dozens of Bristol University students offered accommodation in Wales

Bristol University courses are so over-subscribed students are being offered accommodation in Wales Credit: ITV News

Students coming to the University of Bristol have learned that they will be living in Wales for the foreseeable future.

Dozens of students who accepted places at the university have not been offered any accommodation in the city.

Instead, they've been told there are university rooms available in the village of Langford - 14 miles from campus - or across the River Severn in Newport, which is over 30 miles away.

25
Students expected to be living in Newport accommodation
30+
Miles students need to travel between the temporary accommodation and the university campus
45min
Minimum commute between the two by car

For those looking to live in Bristol, the university has suggested that students look for privately rented accommodation, which can be a more expensive choice.

The lack of student homes nearby is down to the university accepting more students than there are rooms available, after a steady increase in student numbers over the last few years.

Speaking to ITV West Country, the university's Pro-Vice Chancellor, Sarah Purdy, admitted that the lack of student accommodation is a problem but that steps are being taken to resolve it.

We're going to... make sure those students have an effective way to get to Bristol, but we're also going to prioritise moving students who are placed outside of the city into our accommodation as soon as possible.

– Sarah Purdy, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Bristol
Newport Student Village is at least 45 minutes away by car Credit: ITV News

For the 25 students moving in to halls in Newport, the daily commute would be around 45 minutes, including a daily drive over the Severn Bridge.

The university has offered a free bus pass, but current timetables show the last direct bus from Bristol to Newport is currently at 6pm.

Around 40 students are also believed to be moving into halls in Langford, the village where the Bristol Veterinary School is based.

Students who don't want to commute to Newport have been told to look for privately-rented housing Credit: ITV News

One mature student who could not find accommodation in Bristol, said that considering halls in Newport was 'a week of hell on Earth'. She said that the whole process of looking for accommodation 'triggered anxiety' and made her child have anxiety attacks.

The university's inability to accommodate all new students in Bristol has been criticised by the Student Living Officer at Bristol Students' Union.

It's going to be a daunting task to try and actually get a place yourself. It is quite worrying and unsettling to have two weeks before you start your course and not actually having a place to live.

– George Bemrose, Student Living Officer, Bristol Students' Union

The University of Bristol states that around 6,000 students have successfully found accommodation in halls within the city this year and has stressed that the plan is for those to be based in Langford and Newport is on a temporary basis.