The Student Room Group
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website

Why is Durham uni accommodation so expensive?

I have an offer from Durham and found out today that I have been allocated to Grey College, which only has catered accommodation, and costs a whopping £7,894 a year.

As an EU student, I'm only eligible for a maintenance loan of £4000 a year. My parents aren't well-off and have a debt management plan, so they won't be supporting financially me at uni. There's just no way I could pay for accommodation at that price, even with a bursary and a part time job.

I just don't understand how they can charge fees for accommodation that make coming to Durham an impossibility for students from harder-off families. Even those who get a standard UK student maintenance loan would be hard-pressed to cover such a high fee if they aren't getting financial help from their parents.

Any thoughts on how they get away with it?
Original post by Anonymous
I have an offer from Durham and found out today that I have been allocated to Grey College, which only has catered accommodation, and costs a whopping £7,894 a year.

As an EU student, I'm only eligible for a maintenance loan of £4000 a year. My parents aren't well-off and have a debt management plan, so they won't be supporting financially me at uni. There's just no way I could pay for accommodation at that price, even with a bursary and a part time job.

I just don't understand how they can charge fees for accommodation that make coming to Durham an impossibility for students from harder-off families. Even those who get a standard UK student maintenance loan would be hard-pressed to cover such a high fee if they aren't getting financial help from their parents.

Any thoughts on how they get away with it?

What are prices like at other unis?
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Reply 2
The main issue I guess is that at Durham you can be allocated randomly to a catered college, which makes the price shoot up.

Edinburgh for example is £4000 a year for self-catered accommodation, £6800 for catered (still £1000 less than Durham).
i am in a similar situation as you regarding durham putting me into an expensive catered college (van milderts)... but i dont think it would be financially good especially as i like to cook and clean myself so its almost 8 grand i'd be spending for nothing! I think we should e mail them to see if they can change us to self catered ? what do you think?
(edited 4 years ago)
One reason they can ask those amounts is that Durham is only a small city but has a relatively large student population all eager for accommodation.. it's a case of supply and demand.
Reply 5
Original post by yotsr123
i am in a similar situation as you regarding durham putting me into an expensive catered college (van milderts)... but i dont think it would be financially good especially as i like to cook and clean myself so its almost 8 grand i'd be spending for nothing! I think we should e mail them to see if they can change us to self catered ? what do you think?

Exactly, I love cooking too! It might be worth emailing them to ask, but I've heard that they normally only consider changing the college allocation if there is a medical reason.

From their website: "Our current policy is that once a college allocation is made this would not be changed based upon an applicant’s request. The only exception to this would be where a specific medical need cannot be met in the allocated college.

Our catered colleges serve around 650 meals per year to students and this approximately averages at less than £4 per meal. We feel this offers good value to all students who reside in a catered college. There is no culinary equipment needed to be purchased and no weekly food bills on top of the overall price."


Do they not realise that many students can only afford to pay about 70p for each meal, not £4?
Original post by Anonymous
Exactly, I love cooking too! It might be worth emailing them to ask, but I've heard that they normally only consider changing the college allocation if there is a medical reason.

From their website: "Our current policy is that once a college allocation is made this would not be changed based upon an applicant’s request. The only exception to this would be where a specific medical need cannot be met in the allocated college.

Our catered colleges serve around 650 meals per year to students and this approximately averages at less than £4 per meal. We feel this offers good value to all students who reside in a catered college. There is no culinary equipment needed to be purchased and no weekly food bills on top of the overall price."


Do they not realise that many students can only afford to pay about 70p for each meal, not £4?

yeah its so unfortunate but i figured it couldn't hurt to try.
i know... the audacity of it - basically durham said "dont say you can afford it because you CAN" like how are you going to tell me what i can and cant afford lol
and £4 is expensive.
Reply 7
Original post by Anonymous
One reason they can ask those amounts is that Durham is only a small city but has a relatively large student population all eager for accommodation.. it's a case of supply and demand.

If you look on websites such as Spare Room, you can find cheap accommodation in Durham. I think it's more that they know that most students wouldn't miss the first-year "college experience" for the world, and so take advantage by upping the prices.

Original post by yotsr123
yeah its so unfortunate but i figured it couldn't hurt to try.
i know... the audacity of it - basically durham said "dont say you can afford it because you CAN" like how are you going to tell me what i can and cant afford lol
and £4 is expensive.

Ok, let's both send them an email. :smile: Even if they won't reallocate us, they need to know that this is unacceptable.

Yeah, it's so ridiculous - it just exacerbates the "Durham is for rich, privately-educated people" stereotype...
Ikr, tbh i havnt heard back from durham but regardless if i get a offer or not i didn’t expect durham to be that expensive 🙄
Reply 9
Which college did you put as your preferred one? Did you rank self catered colleges at the top of your list? Just trying to work out how you came to be allocated to a catered college if you didn't want that option

Quick Reply