‘It’s been a shambles’: Cardiff freshers had their halls offers revoked by the university

Four Cardiff Uni students tell us their experiences

Moving into your university accommodation is an exciting and memorable experience for most university students in Cardiff, whether that be Taly South, Senghetto, or Roy Jenkins.

However, this year many freshers have been left feeling stressed and concerned about their accommodation due to issues surrounding accommodation guarantees.

A number of parents and freshers reached out to The Cardiff Tab to talk about the experiences they’d had this year with Cardiff University accommodation, with many claiming that they had their guaranteed accommodation rescinded.

“Due to an error by the university, I could not apply for accommodation”

Lucy, a first year English literature student explained to The Cardiff Tab that she accepted her course offer through Clearing before the accommodation deadline, but due to a delay in Cardiff sending the information needed to apply for accom, Lucy missed the deadline.

She then explained that the university accepted its error and guaranteed her a place in halls, only for it to soon after say she was no longer guaranteed a place.

“The situation surrounding accommodation has caused the already nerve wracking experience of moving to a new city to be even more strenuous.

“It also left everything such as preparing to move into my accommodation, to the last minute which left me with the feeling of being unprepared for uni life.

“Fortunately, someone must have dropped out as I now have a room.”

In a statement by the university, a spokesperson said all clearing students received their written offers “minutes” after their verbal offers. However, The Cardiff Tab has seen evidence showing that Lucy received her written offer five days after her verbal offer.

“I’m fairly fuming… it’s been a shambles”

Stuart, whose son turned down a place at Sheffield Uni to go to Cardiff due to the guaranteed accommodation offer, told The Cardiff Tab: “It’s been standard response after standard response. No one taking any accountability.”

Stuart also added that his son, Seth would have to defer a year because of his struggle to find accommodation.

Stuart also added that his son, Seth would have to defer a year because of his struggle to find accommodation.

He added: “The nonsense still goes on. We’ve received an offer of a place but it’s in a private block which houses students from other unis. Plus we’re still to receive the details so we don’t know how much it costs.”

“Now I’m questioning coming here a lot more”

Ella, a first year international student applied to Cardiff University through the international clearing hotline and was given a verbal offer. She was then told she had guaranteed accommodation and sent an email guaranteeing her accommodation shortly after.

She says she applied for accommodation within the deadline but did not hear back for two and a half weeks, however, assumed she had a room due to applying on time.

Ella and her friend then received an email saying they would no longer be able to get accommodation through the university and to look privately. She said: “Obviously this has us freaked out because we are international students with nowhere to live with three weeks to go until we move in and we could have spent the two and half weeks looking for private accom if they had just let us know.

“I’m just terrified for any other international students who are unable to afford private accommodation, having to battle this problem in a foreign language and in a country they’ve not been to before.”

She now has a room in a private accommodation block.

“I was allocated accommodation that didn’t meet the specific religious requirements I have”

Another first year student who wishes to remain anonymous told The Cardiff Tab that due to her religion, she requested to be in single-gender accommodation that was alcohol free, and would allow her to stick to her strict diet.

She explained: “Even though I was guaranteed accommodation since I applied through clearing before the deadline, I was allocated accommodation that didn’t meet the specific religious requirement I have, which I told the accommodation office about multiple times, which forces me to go through extra measures to insure I abide by my religious rules.

“The only request of mine that was met was the single gender accommodation, but as my religion has a strict diet I requested to be grouped with others of the same religion to avoid cross contamination and alcohol stored in the flat, but my request was not fulfilled.”

She said that she is currently waiting to see if she can request a change in October, as she could not afford to go into private accommodation instead.

When The Cardiff Tab reached out to the university for a Freedom of Information Request regarding the number of university accommodation rooms they had at Cardiff University, we were told: “We do not have a set number of rooms for first year students. We adapt our provision in line with applications and demand.”

When approached for comment, a Cardiff University spokesperson said: “All students who met the accommodation guarantee deadlines were given a room offer. We have also been able to provide a room offer to those students who were not guaranteed a place but remained on our application waiting list. We have experienced significant demand for our accommodation this year, and have been in touch with students throughout to keep them updated on the situation and room availability.

“Clearing applicants receive a written clearing offer letter within minutes of being made a verbal offer via email – this process is monitored and there were no delays in the process this year. The email contains the clearing offer and details of next steps. Accommodation information is included where applicable and deadlines will change based on when the offer was made.

“A small number of students experienced an issue with their SIMS log in and new passwords were provided to those who raised this issue with us. Any known delay in University processes that may have impacted students’ ability to meet accommodation deadlines were taken into account when allocating rooms.

“All students can let us know about their accommodation preferences, but these are subject to availability at the time the application is processed. Wherever possible, we always aim to offer students their first choice of accommodation but if there are no vacancies, others are considered in priority order.

“Any student with concerns is welcome to contact us directly and we would be happy to investigate.”

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