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Catered / self catering Halls at Universities

(81 Posts)
BackforGood Fri 20-Sep-13 21:58:14

Been on my first University open day to day (to take ds, not thinking of going myself wink) and was stunned that to stay in the catered halls they showed us (there were a range of different ones, but just looking at the ones they showed us) cost £5,400 per year, but to stay in the self catered ones only "saved" you £900 at £4500 for the year.

Is this common ? We (and ds) had assumed he would be able to pay considerable less for self-catering, but I can't see the £900 'saving' covering his food for the 39 weeks they said they catered for (which I though odd in itself, as no Universities do as many weeks as schools, but that's another thought altogether).

Anyone mind sharing what they/their dcs are paying, and what they get for that (to be fair, these were en-suite rooms, but not in London or the SE)

summerswims Fri 27-Sep-13 17:30:15

I for one am glad that this thread has been here. Caring about the first few months at home from home seems a good thing for mumsnet folk to consider.

I was all for catered (my experience) for social reasons but am thinking self-catering may not be all bad - have to do some of thinking through for my DC as we have the experience and leaving home is not always plain sailing. It's called empathetic parenting in my world!! grin

Numberlock Wed 25-Sep-13 21:16:52


TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Wed 25-Sep-13 21:15:19

glad to have been of service

Numberlock Wed 25-Sep-13 21:11:57

And thankfully your book means nowt to me, but thanks anyway, you've given me a good laugh.

Numberlock Wed 25-Sep-13 21:11:05

My eldest two have just gone to their freshers week, in the last few days. At two separate unis.

I've not fretted no, should I have? Why? Cos the bog roll wasn't cushioned?

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Wed 25-Sep-13 21:06:24

from which I infer that your children have left home & you have not fretted

which makes you a smug bugger in my book

Numberlock Wed 25-Sep-13 21:04:34

Oh Jesus Christ, get over yourselves for fretting so much! They've left home!

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Wed 25-Sep-13 21:03:22

The fact that parents of students have so many opinions on this matter says it all doesn't it

what does it say?

the implication is that we shouldn't have any opinions? if that isn't what you meant, what did you mean?

Numberlock Wed 25-Sep-13 20:57:43

Perhaps I'm a similar age to you (I'm 46) and we went to uni in a similar era?

That makes me a smug bugger how?

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Wed 25-Sep-13 20:44:59

numberlock, when I went on to higher ed my parents had no input at all & nor did anybody else's that I knew of

BUT we all got grants - not loans - which were sufficient to live on - rent, food, transport. It was up to us how we managed that money (although I did once have to ask for a sub, when Easter was very late & there was too much term for my grant)(which was £120 for the whole term. tell that to the kids today...)

why does some smug bugger always have to come on threads like this & tell us all off for having an opinion hmm

Weegiemum Wed 25-Sep-13 19:10:04

I did 4 years at uni (Scotland) of which 2 were in self-catering halls.

I was very popular with my catered for peers!

MirandaWest Wed 25-Sep-13 19:05:03

Surely the amount of en suites is connected with the use of university accommodation for conferences when students aren't there?

Shootingatpigeons Wed 25-Sep-13 18:41:49

Well hopefully, being "parents" we are guiding and advising our progeny as they make these decisions, their own decisions certainly but it is always useful to have the benefit of all sorts of sources of info and advice when doing so, and it is nice to have the benefit of the experiences of other parents DCs when doing that. I don't propose to give up on this responsible parenting lark just yet.....

Quite apart from the fact that these days unless you get the full gamut of burseries and maintenance grants on top of loans etc chances are we parents are paying for at least some of our progeny's living expenses and some of us are not prepared to pay for unnecessary luxury, whilst others clearly feel it indispensable for their darlings and have a bit of a shock coming when they have to move into the real world....

BackforGood Wed 25-Sep-13 18:28:08

Parents worry, because, in so many cases, it is they that are expected to find the extra money the "posher" accommodation costs. Fine if there's a choice, but, from this thread, it seems that more and more, there isn't a choice - it's "expensive" or "expensive"

Numberlock Wed 25-Sep-13 18:24:30

You've twisted what I've said. Why do parents worry so much about en-suite/catered/meal wasn't filling bla bla bla.

These are minimum 18 year old offspring! They're at the university of Bath/Bristol/York etc etc not living in the trenches...

BackforGood Wed 25-Sep-13 18:09:13

Well, Numberlock - on a parenting website, it's quite likely to be parents having opinions, isn't it ?
However, I'm only reflecting conversations with ds, but he doesn't come on here.
He'd FAR rather share a bathroom, cater for himself and have far more money on his pocket.

Numberlock Wed 25-Sep-13 18:04:55

The fact that parents of students have so many opinions on this matter says it all doesn't it.

goinggetstough Wed 25-Sep-13 14:45:10

Food at Bristol was mentioned in a list above as being poor. My DD who is possibly one of the fussiest eaters found it absolutely fine. She found that although the meal times in the evening were early 5.30/630 it did mean she could eat and then go off and train or whatever. She would then probably have a snack later, but wouldn't be ordering out for pizzas! IMO no different to having a snack after lectures and before dinner if the times were later.

Shootingatpigeons Wed 25-Sep-13 14:43:30

We were at an open day yesterday and had to smile when DD did say she wanted en suite (and she coped with a week in DD's student flat this summer and the really shocking communal toilet). However we had a chat about the economics, and how it worked for her older sister and any such illusions of entitlement were cheerfully abandoned.

However I did get the vibe that the uni were making a big thing about providing en suites and making sure all new flats had en suite. Perhaps it is partly parents and students responding to that. Marketing raises expectations. A bit like nuclear proliferation....

I had the privilege in my first year halls back in the 70s of a shared sink, it stopped being a privilege after the umpteenth time of finding the neighbours boyfriends pissing in it, and eventually she too mastered the art............... Now all rooms seem to have a sink.

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Wed 25-Sep-13 14:09:51

DD1 had a hissy fit when she didn't get into any of the (en-suite) halls she wanted, until we patiently explained that the amount she was saving in rent would probably feed her for the year. Since she is a big fan of Aldi, it seems she has also managed to budget for alcohol in her weekly shop smile.

Ok, they aren't the plushest halls ever, and the stairwell up to her flat smelt like a municipal car park grin, but the rooms themselves, whilst looking a tad like prison cells, are warm, clean, repainted, and a decent size, with fast internet access.

And she seems to be with some really nice flat mates, so I don't think sharing a bathroom is going to be the drama she imagined (especially given that she's managed to share with her very messy younger sister for years).

I'm surprised to hear the catering is so bad in so many catered halls. When I was at uni in the mid-late 80s our food was fantastic, so loads of us opted for half board. And no lecture ever over-ran tea-time, so you never went hungry.

Too many kids these days are just too entitled/spoiled, that's my view.

sashh Tue 24-Sep-13 10:53:48


£23 a week is for two meals a day not three (at the unis I've been to - 5 in all - long story)

So if your son is missing breakfast that is £3 and a night for an evening meal, which is often served about 6.30, so by 9pm people are phoning for pizzas.

The 39 weeks is to cover Easter and Xmas, not everyone goes home then.

BlackMogul Mon 23-Sep-13 23:05:03

At my DDs university, the accommodation without ensuite bathrooms was taken up, cheerily, by students largely from boarding schools.They are used to sharing bathrooms. The rooms and bathrooms were not remotely modernised! They also are also used to institutionalised food so choose catered for the social events. Having said that,I gather the food was significantly inferior to school food. I think the parents just let them get on with it. Some students are capable of living in less than luxurious accommodation and are not fussy eaters either.

UptheChimney Mon 23-Sep-13 14:14:29


And my DS is grown up and travelling the world, so I'm through the worst, I hope!

Jins Mon 23-Sep-13 14:14:18

DD was in a self catered flat in a large hall of self catered flats and had a great time. It was very social and the fact that they were catering for themselves was a factor in that, flat parties, come dine with me, around the world etc., cooking together can forge as many bonds as dining together.

I absolutely agree with this.

Shootingatpigeons Mon 23-Sep-13 12:45:37

upthechimney Agree an interesting debate for another thread, and my master's diss was all about women finding sources of power in a very patriarchal society. My DDs have certainly been exposed to academic women who don't use external things such as looks/bodies to succeed sigh of relief that no profile pic on Mumsnet grin

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