‘Students from 25 campuses across the UK are attending pre-term workshops…on how to hold a rent strike at their university, as fears grow that the spiralling cost of accommodation is making higher education unaffordable.
Shelly Asquith, vice-president for welfare at the National Union of Students, said accommodation costs had increased by 18% between 2012-13 and 2015-16 and that rent strikes were now a key tactic for students. “Extortionate rents, coupled with course fees and other rising living costs, are now preventing lots of working-class students from attending university altogether, especially in cities such as London,” she said. “According to our own figures at NUS, over 50% of students say they can’t afford their basic expenses of rent and other bills,” she told an event in south London, where students were learning how to hold a successful rent strike.
The Rent Strike Weekender event was designed to build on a success at UCL, where 1,000 students withheld payments as part of a five-month dispute. UCL’s management was eventually forced to back down, offering a range of concessions including rent freezes, and a £350,000 accommodation bursary for disadvantaged students.’ - Guardian