‘More than 1,000 students from across London are taking part in a rent strike. In only three months the first strike, of 150 students at University College London, has rapidly increased to incorporate hundreds more students and three other institutions.
Massive rent hikes have been swept under the carpet as students typically only stay for one year before being thrown into the catastrophe that is the modern London private rental market. Yet, as the cheapest single room in a university hall reaches £135.59 per week and the government further attacks access to higher education by scrapping maintenance grants, this issue wasn’t going to be ignored for long. Once students began to learn of the years of rent increases and the multimillion-pound surpluses, the perception of exploitation within the student body grew and grew. The question “what is this university really for?” was asked. The answer no longer is “for education”.
In March, an editorial published by the Independent credited the students on strike with rekindling the “debate about access to higher education”.’ - Guardian