LMH accommodation most expensive

The big news this week has been the Oxford Student’s scoop into accommodation rent price disparity across Oxford colleges. The investigation carried out by the OxStu revealed a huge difference between the top and bottom ends of the scale. Indeed, it was found that LMH, who topped the list, charge their first-years on average over £380 per term more than St John’s, who were the cheapest with a mere £960 per term. Put in another way, by the end of this year, the average LMH fresher will have paid £1,150 more than the average St John’s fresher.

Jonathan Chapman, the LMH JCR President, has tried to qualify the findings of the investigation by suggesting that superior accommodation partly justifies a higher price, arguing, “Our accommodation is a lot nearer to town than other colleges’, the space areas is very good, and moreover no-one has to share rooms, and many do not have to share bathrooms.”

Students-in-room-by-Olivia

Students in LMH accommodation… But is it really superior to other colleges’?

Oxide News spoke to Charlie Dennis, who conducted the investigation, and commented, “The findings were pretty interesting as there was a wider range between the colleges than we originally expected.” In response to the President’s defence of LMH prices by citing the supposed superior quality of its accommodation, for example the fact that all rooms are single-study and some ensuite, Charlie notes that, “I think you can say the same thing about rooms in Christ Church, Magdalen, and many others.” In any case, he adds, “While there may be a difference in the quality of rooms, it’s not large enough to warrant the huge difference in prices between different colleges.” £1,150 may indeed prove too steep for LMH to justify.

The counter-example that might help settle the issue firmly lies in an unlikely source, the PPH-cum-college that is Regent’s Park, which reportedly both provides spacious accommodation in a central location and is one of the cheapest in the university. If a St John’s fresher saves £1,150 over the year, a Regent’s one saves around £1,040. Furthermore, it came second in the most recent survey on student satisfaction in different colleges. Surely its strong performance on both rent price and student satisfaction is not merely a coincidence? Harrison Denner, their JCR President, says, “Absolutely, rent pricing is an enormous issue for students around the university right now.” He further argues, “The fact that we’re both low price and high level of standard is obviously fantastic.” And what would he do with that £1,040 that the Regent’s freshers save? “You’d have to plough it all into improving your internet connection so you can listen to Oxide with greater ease.” Pretty sound advice.

What are your thoughts? Is the supposed better quality accommodation really a justification for such high prices? Even so, would better quality accommodation for a year be worth as much as £1,150 extra?

See how your college fared in the OxStu’s survey, and let us know what you think!



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