Why do UK universities have no dining hauls

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FrostedLion
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I’ve been wondering this for a while now as to why most, if not all UK universities have very little dining. Almost all universities in America have at least 3 dining hauls for all their universities, where as in the UK universities have hardly any, and the food is nowhere near the quality you would get in the US.
It’s hard for me especially because I’ve had to resort to spending money on takeouts quite frequently (spent £250 last month). I have visited the main dining area of my university and it’s very, very small in comparison to US universities and the food is quite unhealthy as well.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
I’ve been wondering this for a while now as to why most, if not all UK universities have very little dining. Almost all universities in America have at least 3 dining hauls for all their universities, where as in the UK universities have hardly any, and the food is nowhere near the quality you would get in the US.
It’s hard for me especially because I’ve had to resort to spending money on takeouts quite frequently (spent £250 last month). I have visited the main dining area of my university and it’s very, very small in comparison to US universities and the food is quite unhealthy as well.
Halls? What are you wanting, exactly?

I can't imagine that much take-away food is that healthy. Can't you cook your own food?
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Admit-One
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Higher Education in the UK has typically been much cheaper than the US, so it's never really been practical to provide meals for the fees. Combined with the size/shape of most UK campuses, it's just never been a big thing.

The expectation is that you learn to cook for yourself rather than resigning yourself to spending £250 a month on takeaways because Uber Eats is convenient
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Ramipril
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My first university had on campus cafes and restaurants. The catered halls had dining halls but otherwise I don't see what the point would have been. Most people bought lunch from shops or made their own so they could sit and eat wherever they wanted. Also, as above, we pay a stupid amount for university but not to the idiotic levels you see in the USA. It's not cost-effective.
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FrostedLion
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Higher Education in the UK has typically been much cheaper than the US, so it's never really been practical to provide meals for the fees. Combined with the size/shape of most UK campuses, it's just never been a big thing.

The expectation is that you learn to cook for yourself rather than resigning yourself to spending £250 a month on takeaways because Uber Eats is convenient
(Original post by RogerOxon)
Halls? What are you wanting, exactly?

I can't imagine that much take-away food is that healthy. Can't you cook your own food?
I’ve obviously tried but the food doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as it would if actual chefs or even catering staff made food. I’ve seen many day in the life blogs from students in the US and just from being on a meal plan they get access to a great choice of breakfast, lunch , dinner and even desert just for being on a meal plan. I just wish they would bring those kind of options to UK universities because it’s just a hassle to make food by yourself and obviously doesn’t taste as good.
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FrostedLion
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Higher Education in the UK has typically been much cheaper than the US, so it's never really been practical to provide meals for the fees. Combined with the size/shape of most UK campuses, it's just never been a big thing.

The expectation is that you learn to cook for yourself rather than resigning yourself to spending £250 a month on takeaways because Uber Eats is convenient
Today I bought a pizza just because I find the food which I make bland and it’s very repetitive.
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Interea
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
Today I bought a pizza just because I find the food which I make bland and it’s very repetitive.
Sounds like it might be time for you to buy a few student cookbooks and try some new things out, works out so much cheaper!
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Theloniouss
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You should learn to cook. It's a valuable life skill.

Also, many universities offer catered accommodation and some have dining halls.
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Admit-One
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
Today I bought a pizza just because I find the food which I make bland and it’s very repetitive.
That means the issue is that you haven't learn to cook, rather than unis should provide a catered option for a small subset of students.

If you can't make something comparable to a takeaway/supermarket pizza then something really has gone wrong.

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps (use a packet pizza base mix and it'd be even easier)
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Theobromine
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My UK university has catered colleges, but I chose a non-catered hall. I think the word they use for it is...'character-building'. Jokes aside, learning to cook is useful, and a lot cheaper than takeaways. If you can't cook something as good, take it as an opportunity to learn to improve your cooking.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
I’ve obviously tried but the food doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as it would if actual chefs or even catering staff made food. I’ve seen many day in the life blogs from students in the US and just from being on a meal plan they get access to a great choice of breakfast, lunch , dinner and even desert just for being on a meal plan. I just wish they would bring those kind of options to UK universities because it’s just a hassle to make food by yourself and obviously doesn’t taste as good.
That food is probably very unhealthy. Adding (saturated) fat, salt and / or sugar is a cheap way to make food taste better.

US food is not known for being healthy. Even though Congress class pizza as a vegetable, it isn't ..
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
Today I bought a pizza just because I find the food which I make bland and it’s very repetitive.
Learn to cook better food then.
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FrostedLion
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(Original post by Interea)
Sounds like it might be time for you to buy a few student cookbooks and try some new things out, works out so much cheaper!
(Original post by Theloniouss)
You should learn to cook. It's a valuable life skill.

Also, many universities offer catered accommodation and some have dining halls.
(Original post by Admit-One)
That means the issue is that you haven't learn to cook, rather than unis should provide a catered option for a small subset of students.

If you can't make something comparable to a takeaway/supermarket pizza then something really has gone wrong.

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps (use a packet pizza base mix and it'd be even easier)
(Original post by Theobromine)
My UK university has catered colleges, but I chose a non-catered hall. I think the word they use for it is...'character-building'. Jokes aside, learning to cook is useful, and a lot cheaper than takeaways. If you can't cook something as good, take it as an opportunity to learn to improve your cooking.
All of you guys have really valid points, and it is true that I need to learn to cook better but ultimately I believe that students would perform better if they had catering facilities like the US. Cooking food and buying ingredients takes time and if one is a busy student they would just want a quick lunch/dinner at a dining haul where they have a range of healthy options to pick from.
Maybe I’m just narrow minded because if this was the case surely most universities in the UK would have more catering facilities facilities by now.
I’ll take your guys advice and I will try to make better food; however, my point still stands that it would be a lot easier for all students if there were more catering facilities.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
Today I bought a pizza just because I find the food which I make bland and it’s very repetitive.
It sounds like you have a stereotypical American palette. Simple dishes can be amazing. I really miss British bread and cheese - cheddar in the US is a travesty.
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FrostedLion
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All of you guys have really valid points, and it is true that I need to learn to cook better but ultimately I believe that students would perform better if they had catering facilities like the US. Cooking food and buying ingredients takes time and if one is a busy student they would just want a quick lunch/dinner at a dining haul where they have a range of healthy options to pick from.
Maybe I’m just narrow minded because if this was the case surely most universities in the UK would have more catering facilities facilities by now.
I’ll take your guys advice and I will try to make better food; however, my point still stands that it would be a lot easier for all students if there were more catering facilities.
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Admit-One
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Surely the whole point of studying in the UK was to get a different experience than the one you could get in the US?

If UK unis thought it was beneficial to cater for students en masse, or more importantly that they could make money doing it, believe me, they would be doing it by now.
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Interea
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
All of you guys have really valid points, and it is true that I need to learn to cook better but ultimately I believe that students would perform better if they had catering facilities like the US. Cooking food and buying ingredients takes time and if one is a busy student they would just want a quick lunch/dinner at a dining haul where they have a range of healthy options to pick from.
Maybe I’m just narrow minded because if this was the case surely most universities in the UK would have more catering facilities facilities by now.
I’ll take your guys advice and I will try to make better food; however, my point still stands that it would be a lot easier for all students if there were more catering facilities.
I guess aside from the profitability point, UK unis better prepare you for adult life in this sense, since you're going to have to learn to balance work and cooking/shopping one day, so it might as well be while you're in the more sheltered and forgiving environment of uni. I think I'd feel a bit patronised being given essentially school meals from a dining hall every day as an adult to be honest!
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PQ
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
All of you guys have really valid points, and it is true that I need to learn to cook better but ultimately I believe that students would perform better if they had catering facilities like the US. Cooking food and buying ingredients takes time and if one is a busy student they would just want a quick lunch/dinner at a dining haul where they have a range of healthy options to pick from.
Maybe I’m just narrow minded because if this was the case surely most universities in the UK would have more catering facilities facilities by now.
I’ll take your guys advice and I will try to make better food; however, my point still stands that it would be a lot easier for all students if there were more catering facilities.
UK universities used to offer far more catered accommodation options 20+ years ago. Demand from UK students has been for en suite self catered accommodation. UK students are looking to learn life skills to live independently not to pay for an expensive boarding school.

If you want catering then maybe look into staying in a hotel long term (there are student hotels in some areas of the country where you'll get breakfast and an evening meal provided) or see if you can find lodgings with a family who will provide meals. About 1/5 or so of UK universities will still have a catered option available but I doubt you'll find the catering provided suits your tastes.

There are companies that will deliver fresh food and meal plans to you if you find the task of buying and cooking complex. Or if you're really limited in your cooking ability then there's "ready meals" that are made to a higher standard/more variety than found in most supermarkets (https://www.wiltshirefarmfoods.com/ mainly caters to elderly people so it's cheap but might not suit a palette used to takeaway, https://www.cookfood.net/menu/main-meals is more expensive but might be a better option for you)
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Bio 7
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(Original post by FrostedLion)
I’ve obviously tried but the food doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as it would if actual chefs or even catering staff made food. I’ve seen many day in the life blogs from students in the US and just from being on a meal plan they get access to a great choice of breakfast, lunch , dinner and even desert just for being on a meal plan. I just wish they would bring those kind of options to UK universities because it’s just a hassle to make food by yourself and obviously doesn’t taste as good.
That sounds very lazy, making your own food isn't difficult and it would be cheaper.

Also it's hall not haul, they mean different things.
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WilliamCWhalen
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Thanks for sharing answer here with us.
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