Ask Your University: a shout out to your study space, student rent and the TEF

The IC toilets are often clogged, all the university computers should install Adobe software… These thoughts are what I expressed this afternoon about the University’s study space.

The Student Union Officers and the University invited students to join an informal round table discussion with university staff during lunch time at the Foundry last Wednesday (15 February). Students were assigned to three different tables to talk about the study space, student rent and the TEF, swapping tables after twenty minutes so that they had the chance to discuss each topic.

Chris, who is part of the Acorn Renters Union, brought some questions about landlord licensing. An international student who did his Masters degree in Newcastle, he compared his rental experience there with that in Sheffield. He also shared his problem of paying the whole lump sum for university accommodation and a dispute about getting the deposit in a private accommodation. Another mature student joining the discussion brought out the point that, for a lot of students, this is their first time away from home. It is such a challenge for them to find their own houses for the first time.

Caryn Masters and Jane Conboye, representing the Department of Accommodation and Commercial Service (ACS) told us more about Snug. It is a property inspection standard. Private accommodation for students are awarded a Snug badge if the houses reach the standard of property and tenancy management, and the landlord is considered ‘fit and proper’.

They also considered that the ACS should advertise more about Snug and enable students to choose houses with a snug badge.

Regarding study spaces, I chatted with a team of staff who are dealing with this issue. We talked about how to deal with the problem of a student using the whole study room, where societies’ meetings should be held, and the control of silent study space. It would also be great if all the university computers have Adobe software installed.

It was a nice luncheon and round-table talk (with pizza boxes being passed around!). You should come along to the next event and have a friendly chat with your university staff.

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