Cost of halls rises above average maintenance loan for first time

The cost of living in halls has risen above the average amount Brunel students receive in maintenance loan for the first time.

The price of en-suite rooms at Brunel will be £130 per week, or £4,940 for the year.

The average student maintenance loan at Brunel is around £4,828, according to the latest figures available from the Student Loans Company.

If replicated in the coming academic year the figures, which detail loans awarded in the academic year 2012-13, suggest the latest increase in halls fees could rise above the average loan amount.

The figures don’t account for the maintenance grant, which is awarded to eligible students in addition to their loan.

The average grant for the same time period was £2,793. However, those students who receive a loan but not a grant are more likely to be adversely affected by any increase in halls fees. In 2012, close to two thousand students received a loan but not a grant.

The university announced its decision to increase halls fees in an email to students who applied to stay on campus for the next academic year.

The latest increase means that, over the past four years, Brunel has increased the price of its en-suite accommodation by 17%.

Final year students will be certain to notice the change. They paid £119 per week for an en-suite room in their first year – but will now pay £418 more to stay on campus in their final year at Brunel.

Paul Thomas, the university’s Chief Operating Officer said: “Hall fees at Brunel are set to provide students with on-campus accommodation at a competitive cost, appropriate to the style and quality of room that is on offer.”

He added: “We aim to determine rents that represent value for money, particularly in relation to regional comparators within the sector and the local private rental market. Our research this year shows that, despite recent rises, our fees remain among the lowest of any Higher Education institution in the area.”