University of West England UWE students complain about pod accommodation 8x10ft pods in car park

Daily Mail Online 0 month ago

University students have slammed campus bosses for charging £150-a-week for 8x10ft 'pod' accommodation they claim is 'not fit for humans'. 

The University of West England installed 21 en-suite 'pods' in one of the university's car parks last month in order to meet increased demand. 

But the units have been branded 'appalling' and 'not mentally viable' by some of the students living there, some of which have already moved out just one month in.

First year students at UWE living in its Purbeck Court complex say they have been taunted by their peers for 'not living in real accommodation'.     

Other complaints include limited communal space, thin walls, and being overlooked by an existing hall of residence.

The studio pods cost residents £150 per week, while campus accommodation is cheaper or slightly more expensive, ranging from £111 to £183 per week.

The University of West England installed 21 en-suite 'pods' in one of the university car parks last month in order to meet increased demand
The University of West England installed 21 en-suite 'pods' in one of the university car parks last month in order to meet increased demand
But the units (one pictured) have been branded 'appalling' and 'not mentally viable' by some of the students living there, some of which have already moved out just one month in
But the units (one pictured) have been branded 'appalling' and 'not mentally viable' by some of the students living there, some of which have already moved out just one month in

First-year history student Joe Oakes-Monger told the BBC he had decided to move out because it was 'quite isolating' to live in 'a very confined space'.

He said: 'It's a strange place to spend quite a large part of your time in. There's not really anywhere else to go.

'At the time [I moved in] I was desperate for accommodation, but I was pretty appalled. I couldn't quite believe the prospect of spending a year there..'

He added it was 'not an appropriate living standard for a human being'.

Another student, Jack Fifield, who writes for the university's student magazine, said he had heard complaints the housing fees were too expensive.

The university has said it will be evaluating the value for money of the new units.

Mr Fifield said: 'They [the university] say it's a pilot scheme but they shouldn't be testing it on live students.

Inside: One of the 8x10ft 'pods' is pictured from the inside with a single bed and desk area
Inside: One of the 8x10ft 'pods' is pictured from the inside with a single bed and desk area 
The en-suite units are pictured from another angle, with just a small square window for light
The en-suite units are pictured from another angle, with just a small square window for light 

'They need to reduce the rent and retroactively refund them.'

A university spokesman said the pods have been 'used successfully elsewhere, including student accommodation at other universities'.

They said the flats provided students with the opportunity to live on campus during their first year.

'We are working closely with the students living in this accommodation to respond to their feedback,' they said.

'This will be used to inform our future accommodation plans and to see whether the pilot may be extended beyond this academic year.'

Bathroom: The 'pod' have en-suite bathroom facilities with a shower and toilet
Bathroom: The 'pod' have en-suite bathroom facilities with a shower and toilet 

The university's vice chancellor, Steve West, has offered to meet with students living in the pods.

'We are trying to create communities for the increasing number of students who want to live on campus,' he said.

'The pilot picked up on the need for social space: [a new communal area] is being built and will be on site soon.'

UWE said it had plans to build a range of 2,000 additional student rooms on the campus, which would be ready by 2022.

***Are you living in one of the 'pods' or know someone who is? Email lara.keay@mailonline.co.uk or call 0203 615 1637*** 

First year students at UWE living in its Purbeck Court complex say they have been taunted by their peers for 'not living in real accommodation'
First year students at UWE living in its Purbeck Court complex say they have been taunted by their peers for 'not living in real accommodation'

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