The University of St Andrews’ Accommodation Services has secured a new hall of residence in Dundee following the admittance of all students with conditional offers due to the U-turn in A-level and Higher results.
The University of St Andrews’ Accommodation Services has secured a new hall of residence in Dundee following the admittance of all students with conditional offers, which led to over 150 first years being left without accommodation.
The new hall of residence will be developed into a St Andrews community, with student hall representatives and residential staff on site 5 days a week.
The hall is described as a modern 185-bed residence in flat arrangement, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. They range from 1 to 6 person flats, and rent will be £105 per week, inclusive of utilities and WiFi. Students who choose this option for accommodation will be able to move in as soon as 5 September 2020.
Located at the Old Mill, Brown Street, the hall is next to the main police station and a 15-minute walk to the main station, or a 2-minute walk to the nearest bus stop. The hall will also include 24/7 on-call security, secure entry, bike storage, and social spaces.
The Dundee bus station is about a 35-minute commute via bus from St Andrews. However, the University is looking into a deal with the local bus company so that students living in this Dundee hall will be able to use transport easily throughout the year.
In an email to affected students, St Andrews Student Accommodation Services wrote, “As many of you already know, there is an acute shortage of accommodation in St Andrews just now. The very late changes to the way governments in the UK calculated A-Level and Higher exam grades this year have meant the University is obliged to admit a larger number of students to first-year than expected.
“This is the same for many universities and is due to circumstances entirely beyond our control.”
Students can cancel their accommodation contract free of charge if they would like to move their place to the Dundee hall of residence. Additionally, students who do not want to live in Dundee can try to defer their place at St Andrews until next year.
In a Facebook post announcing the new hall, President of the Students’ Association Dan Marshall noted, “I can’t guarantee they’ll accept the [deferral] request but I’ve been assured that they will be flexible given the situation.”
Speaking of the situation, Mr Marshall said, “Due to the A level results fiasco, the University was left with a significant shortage of housing. A number of students were contacted earlier this week by the University and were encouraged to look for private housing in St Andrews because of this. Given that there is already a shortage of private housing in St Andrews and a number of the students involved were under 17 and were unable to sign private leases, we have encouraged the University to look for other options to house these students and to allow for remote study where necessary.”
He continued, “We are pleased that the University has acted quickly to find a new hall in Dundee that can accommodate students all together and allow for a sense of student community to form. This is obviously not an ideal solution but given the circumstances, it is great that these students will all be able to be housed together in a supported environment.”
The announcement of a new hall of residence comes as over a hundred students were left without a room in halls after the nationwide exam fiasco, which meant the University admitted more students than expected. Students who applied for accommodation after 30 June 2020 were not guaranteed accommodation, and many of them consequently did not receive an offer for student halls.