Thursday, April 02, 2015

Subsidized student accomodation

Why is student accommodation prohibitively expensive in Scotland? I remember when I lived on campus at Konstanz uni, paying about 25% of what I would have paid here for my room there.

My boy is nearly 18 and desperate to move out of our home and spread his wings. He's been accepted for Law at both Glasgow and Edinburgh unis. He currently debating whether he should narrow that choice down to just Glasgow as that is only a two hour round-trip every day to and from our house (costing £6-50 a day) because realistically where is he going to find £130 a week for a student room on campus? Given his course is 5 years long, running up a bill of £28100 in accommodation (before you start calculating books, travel and the rest) is madness. Of course, if we lived further away, he'd be forced to take on that debt, just as English kids have no choice but to take on the crazy debt their student fees incur, but when it is optional, it really is hard to justify burdening your future by starting out in life with such a huge millstone round your neck.

At the moment, over and above his school work, he is working afternoons in a café and evenings in a restaurant to try to build up some cash to move out, and he's lucky to have found a job paying £5-90 an hour (his friends are working for £3-79). But I wonder how realistic continuing that will be once he's studying too. He certainly won't be able to continue working 30hrs/wk. Working with those figures, he'll only be able to move out if he manages to work 900 hours every summer for the next five years (which is approximately 75hrs/wk!), or if he takes on huge student loans.

It's such a shame. I know he'd have a much better time living at uni than squashed in our wee house with the six of us, especially as we have one bedroom too few. I guess, if I am being realistic, the time has come to consider losing our TV room, and creating a room for Léon.

Oh to live in different times, or in a different place! :-(

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