News Article

Universities have a duty of care, not a duty of exploitation!

City Students’ Union stands in solidarity with our students at City, University of London who are on a rent strike!

Thousands of students across the UK are organising rent strikes protesting their mistreatment by Boris Johnson’s Government and University mismanagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once students arrived at their accommodation for the beginning of the academic year 2020/21, all promises of a safe reopening and a normal university experience were exposed as lies. The virus has infected City students in accommodation, and forced many more into self-isolation with woefully inadequate support.

There is no doubt that the marketisation has caused Universities to commercialise their operations in order to increase and diversify income streams to the detriment of students. The reality is, students have been brought to campuses not for their own educational benefit, but as ‘cash cows’ for City University, desperate to retain the enormous incomes they collect in tuition fees and rent.

As a Students’ Union, we believe that housing is a right not a privilege and affordability is essential to ensuring everybody can access higher education and not be pushed into poverty whilst studying. 

Therefore, we will be supporting the rent strike with all available resources as a priority campaign.

We call on the University to meet the demands of students, including:

  1. Rent in halls of residence to be reduced by 30% for all students for the remainder of the academic year.

  2. Refunds for both UK and non-UK students who are being advised not to return to their accommodation until after January

  3. To offer all students a no-penalty early release clause from their tenancy contracts, for both this academic year and the next.

  4. Increase wellbeing support for students, including, allowing them to form ‘support bubbles’ with other households during lockdown

  5. No staff redundancies and better support for cleaning and maintenance staff

  6. That the University commits to supporting its striking students in achieving fair outcomes and does not take any form of disciplinary action against them.



Shaima Dallali | VP Community and Wellbeing

Ruqaiyah Javaid | VP Education

Saqlain Riaz | President



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