Bristol Uni to house students in Wales as part of affordable housing scheme

The new halls of residence will be active from September in Newport, Wales

Bristol Uni is offering incoming first year students the option to live in a new student accommodation village located in Newport, Wales, 30 miles away from the main campus.

Beginning as a temporary answer to the oversubscription of student accomodation in 2019, the Newport Student Village has become a permanent option for freshers choosing their halls of residence.

Described as a “modern accommodation” that is close to “shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants”, Newport will house 137 students with rent starting at around £2000 cheaper than the equivalent accomodation in Bristol city centre.

There are three types of room on offer, all self-catered with an en-suite. The basic room comes in at £150 a week compared to an en-suite in Hiatt Baker which will set you back £203.

A basic room in Newport (credit: University of Bristol)

Newport residents will receive a free pass for a shuttle bus service that will run between campus and the accommodation village every hour, reducing to every 2 hours on weekends. The last bus leaving Bristol will be at 11:30pm and the journey is expected to take between 45 and 67 minutes.

It appears the accommodation village does not currently exclusively house Bristol Uni students. A Tab reporter visiting Newport found the majority of residents to be from the University of South Wales, suggesting the two student groups will be in close proximity.

The expansion of halls comes as the university has been under increasing pressure to alleviate the city’s housing shortage which has left students in a scramble to secure accomodation.

Last year students were left queueing outside the SU Lettings Office for up to three hours in a desperate attempt to secure a house in the densely populated city.

With rents in the city continuing to rise we asked students if they supported this latest affordable accomodation move.

Emma, a second year Biology student, told The Bristol Tab: “It is a fair bit cheaper than most other halls but comes with many disadvantages.

“If the bus doesn’t run super frequently or ends quite early at night it might be incompatible with student life. If you miss the final bus you’re effectively stranded in Bristol.”

Whilst Newport might not be for everyone, it does offer a considerably more affordable option for students.

A University of Bristol spokesperson has said: “For most students, accommodation will be one of the biggest expenses whilst at university.

“We want to provide our students with a wide range of options which are affordable and gives them what they are looking for, which is why we have added accommodation at Newport into our overall offer this year. This represents less than two per cent of the beds we have available.

“We appreciate the vast majority of students will still want to live in Bristol but for those who are looking for a larger, modern room with its own bathroom [63 percent of our students say this is very important for them], Newport offers a much more affordable option.

“We received around 180 initial expressions of interest and currently have approximately 90 students who still have Newport as a viable option.

“Students living in Newport will have the same access to our 24/7 support services in what we plan to be a vibrant community with shared social and study spaces and a wide range of events and activities.”

Featured image credit: University of Bristol

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