During this investigation, we assessed a room’s affordability in reference to the NUS affordability criteria. They recommend that universities keep 25% of their rooms below 50% of the maximum available student finance.
In London the maximum available student finance for 2017/2018 is £11,002 per year. If 50% is spent on rent, this gives an annual budget of £5501.
Most universities and providers offer 38-45 week contracts, to coincide with term dates as students may not want to pay for accommodation at points in the year when they don’t need to be living at university. Working from the basis of a 40 week contract, a weekly affordable rent would be £137.53.
The NUS calculate weekly rent by dividing this by 2, then by 52. This gives a weekly rent of £105.78. They choose to do so on the basis that some students don’t have stable homes to return to in the summer.
Both of these rationales are sound, and leaves an awkward £35 gap. We’ve chosen to use the NUS definition on the whole, but for the small number of halls which fall into that gap we have marked that they are cheaper than most.
Sadly, there were very few who fit into this, and most were either shared rooms or outside of London (but connected to London universities, for example by satellite campuses ).