As the new academic year is about to begin, Cardiff welcomes more than 60,000 students once again. But as we stress about textbooks, coursework, and meeting new people we will work with for the whole year, there is one additional burden that students have to face that often goes unmentioned – looking for a student accommodation.
The student accommodation market in Cardiff is not unlike the ones in other cities and towns of Britain – as all universities will not provide students with housing after they finish first year,students have to turn to the private sector – be it the landlords transforming residential properties into homes of multiple occupation and renting them through student letting agencies or large, privately-owned halls. However, neither of these of these options are without faults – while HMOs disrupt and push the communities in areas close to universities to the suburbs, private halls are often financially out of most students’ reach as they are marketed as as luxury accommodations and their architecture is often out of context with both its immediate and wider surroundings.
Architecture students are some of the fastest to complain about the stress of the educational experience. Between the claims of sleepless studio nights and ruthless critique, why are we still fighting for a place in the profession?