Controversy has emerged on campus after the fees for twin Ziggurat rooms were increased.
Due to COVID-19 social distancing measures, the twin ziggurat rooms were modified to house one student rather than two. These rooms are often an affordable option for students, costing £79.45 per week versus £118.09 for the standard single option. When applying for accommodation, students were not told that the twin rooms would be shared. Earlier this month, new students received their accommodation and for some, a hefty fee. Twin ziggurat residents were told they would be paying en-suite campus fees, which is £158.83 per week.
Students immediately felt frustrated regarding this news. For many, en-suite accommodation takes up much of their student loan. According to one student, when they complained to the university, residents were told to look into private accommodation instead. This student, in particular, is a medical student, who would not be able to work in order to cover the cost.
In response to this confusion, an anonymous petition has been created, currently holding 895 signatures at the time of writing. The petition has asked the University of East Anglia to reduce the cost to something more comparable to the standard single ziggurat.
A University spokesperson said: “We have written to those students with concerns and explained that the price is the equivalent price for an en-suite room and therefore reflects the significant amount of extra floor space. This room type is our largest single room.
“We have updated the information on the room offer letter so that it explains the pricing structure more clearly and where students are still unhappy we will help them to find alternative accommodation. It wouldn’t be fair to other students in other Standard Ziggurat accommodation to charge a cheaper rate for these particular rooms.”
While the twin rooms have additional floor space, they still have one of each amenity: one sink, one desk, and one wardrobe. As residents will still share communal bathrooms, the petition still asks for reduced fees.