Studio pods built in university car park for students ‘not fit for humans’
23rd October 2019
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Students have slammed new studio accommodation in the car park of their university saying it's "not fit for humans".

The 21 en-suite "studio pods" measuring just 8x10ft (2.4x3m) were installed last month in response to an increased demand for student accommodation at University of West of England (UWE), in Bristol.

But they have been branded Purbeck Court "appalling" and "not mentally viable" by students living there – some of whom are moving out after just a month.

They also claim have other students in nearby halls of residence taunt them for "not living in real accommodation".


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

And the studio pods are costing residents £150 per week – whilst campus accommodation ranges from £111 to £183 per week.

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".

And 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 told the BBC: "They [the university] say it's a pilot scheme but they shouldn't be testing it on live students. They need to reduce the rent and retroactively refund them."

Also speaking to the BBC, a university spokesperson said the pods had been "used successfully elsewhere, including student accommodation at other universities".

The spokesperson 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."

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.

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