University of Manchester students are protesting their rent costs and are asking for a 30 per cent reduction. The students are refusing to pay their accommodation costs until their demands are met. The protests first started due to the effect of the cost of living on students.
250 students of the University of Manchester have cancelled their payments for their student accommodation. University of Manchester students claim that rent costs have risen by £400 for some in the last year, meaning many are skipping meals because they cannot afford food.
Students Protest Rent Cost
Students at the university believe that it could be doing more to support the students struggling the most. Though the University of Manchester has given all students £170 to help with the cost of living crisis, this isn’t enough.
First-year student Maya Tanner told the BBC that she cannot afford the basics:
“[I’m] really struggling to eat and just pay for basic needs that I normally would have at home”
The Office of National Statistics has said that maintenance loans cannot keep up with rising inflation costs. On average, student accommodation costs are more than students are receiving from the government. The worry is that students will drop out or be put off university because of this.
This is the first time the University of Manchester has had student protests after the fought rent costs back in 2020. Back then, students protested the cost of their university cost after the pandemic forced online lessons, with students stuck in their accommodations.
In 2022, student protests have started again after the success the first time around. The rent strike Instagram is claiming that students have already refused to pay almost £300k in rent payments.
The University of Manchester Says They Will Do What They Can
In response to students protesting rent costs, a spokesperson for the university has said they have the means to help students.
“We will do everything we can to support students who are unable to pay their rent and urge anyone struggling to speak to us as soon as possible.
“Any student who is struggling with their rent or any other financial hardship can apply to our expanded cost of living support fund for a grant of up to £2,000. This is part of a £9m package which includes a payment of £170 to all full-time students.”
However, students want the university to not only reduce rent costs for the rest of the academic year. Their Instagram shows they are demanding a 30 per cent refund on the October payments of 2022. Going forward, students want the University of Manchester to freeze accommodation costs for the next three years.