Judges refuse to give student accommodation award- because they were all too overpriced
A group of ten students are being praised online after they refused to pick a winner for a student accommodation award because, well, let's face it, they're all too f*cking expensive.
Out of the accommodation shortlisted, all were rejected by the judges under the "student experience" category claiming none of them were considered "affordable housing".
One of the judges, Jenny Killin, 25, tweeted an image of the letter herself and fellow judges sent to Property Week, organisers of the 2016 Student Accommodation Awards, which has since gone viral.
I was invited to be a panel of judges for the Student Accommodation Awards.— Jenny Killin (@Jenny_Killin) October 24, 2016
We refused to select a winner. Our letter to the organisers: pic.twitter.com/7CdF4hQpt8
They were asked to score the entrants under academic, learning, well-being, social and student lifestyle choices- but they were left shocked when they looked over the entries.
“The ten of us decided it would be ridiculous to award any of them with a student accommodation award when the prices so clearly push students into poverty,” Killin told BuzzFeed News.
The average student rent in the UK is £146.73 per week and with the latest government plans to allow new students a maximum loan of £5,740 annually this would leave students with £851 to feed and clothe themselves for a year.
The governments decision to switch from grants to loans has shown that the poorest 40% of students could leave uni with a potential of £53,000 debt.
Killin, a welfare officer at Aberdeen University students’ association, said in her university town the average rent worked out as 102% of her student loan. “As a student from a working class background I had to work full-time throughout my degree to afford to pay bills,” she said.
Killin said she and her fellow judges had been taken aback by the positive reaction. She added that although the cost of housing nationally was a big issue, anyone at university was “painfully aware of how badly students are ripped off”.
It seems that despite all of the strikes taking place for rent cuts, if you're a working class student you're either priced out or in poverty, and a spokesperson for Property Week has said they "completely respect" the judges decision not to pick a winner.