Friday, 24 September 2021

Life in halls is a learning curve for undergraduates

Life in halls is a learning curve for undergraduates

OVER the next few weeks, thousands of university students from around the world will arrive in Reading — and they will all need somewhere to live.

The University of Reading has 16 different halls of residence in the town, including the Grade II listed Wantage Hall, Greenow and McCombie, Dunsden Crescent and Northcourt House.

Places in the halls are offered to a limited number of full-time undergraduates, with most of the other students moving into private rented accommodation.

Students in the halls of residence can opt to have their catering included, or do their own cooking. Some rooms have en suite bathrooms, while others have shared bathroom facilities.

The cost of living accommodation in the halls of residence varies, depending on the type of room the student chooses.

For example, a studio flat in Wessex Hall costs £28.57 per night, and a room with a shared bathroom in Wantage Hall costs £17.85.

A catered en suite room in Dunsden costs £25.54 per night, and a catered room with a shared bathroom in St Patrick’s Hall costs £20.22.

The fees include bills, an internet connection, cleaning and insurance, and students usually have the option of signing up to either a 40-week or a
51-week contract.

Over the course of a year, these variations mean that a student’s hall of residence accommodation could cost anything between £4,620 for a room with a washbasin in St George’s Hall for 40 weeks, and £12,495 for a two-bedroom flat in Greenow House for 51 weeks.

For the majority of students who are not moving into halls, the university offers the following guidance.

“Most students looking for private rented accommodation choose to share a house or flat with other students.

“Normally each student has his or her own study-bedroom and all bathroom, kitchen and living room areas are shared with the other occupants of the property.

“Typical rents vary from £260 to £300 per person per calendar month. Rental agreements are assured shorthold tenancies, usually for a fixed term of 12 months.”

Alternatively, some students choose to rent a room in a private house, which may be more expensive than a shared student house but the rent normally includes bills and the rental agreement may be more flexible.

The University of Reading now has around 19,000 students enrolled across its four campuses — Whiteknights and London Road campuses in Reading, a centre in Malaysia and Henley Business School at Greenlands, Henley.

The Whiteknights campus was voted one of the best green spaces in the UK for the seventh year running in the 2017 Green Flag People’s Choice awards.

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