University College has spent seven million pounds purchasing a development of flats in Oxford City Centre.
The purchase of the twenty six properties, which are off St Thomas Street, mark a residential investment by the college, rather than a move to provide further accommodation for students.
Frank Marshall, Estates Bursar for University College, commented, “The flats have been purchased as an investment, to provide income to help fund our academic activities.”
Univ second year Christopher Pruijsen said, “There is nothing wrong with a college making an investment from it’s endowment – normally they take in Asset Management to do so, so this move actually saves the college on fees- and I must say it’s better that the colleges own city housing than for the private sector to do so, as this way we might be able to secure some student accommodation in the city.
‘The real problem is that the college in fact does not offer the housing to University College students, who are instead forced to move into private sector housing which is managed by often ridiculously unhelpful landlords, and which is located much further from college than the housing which the college just acquired. So turn it into accommodation for Univ’s third year students, or even better for second years, as third years really should live in college.”
Robin McGhee, a student at St Anne’s, reflected on the disparity between colleges with disposable income and those in need of financial support, stating, “St Anne’s has virtually no money at all. Our administrative staff essentially spend their lives hacking the various alumni for cash. Also, the floor of our kitchen fell in over the summer (the fact that a floor can fall in gives an impression of how dire conditions up here are) so we need to build a new one.”