‘Appalled’ Bristol university students blast 8x10ft en-suite pods that are ‘not fit for humans’

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
UWE University students are 'appalled' by the pods that have been installed (SWNS)

Students at a university in Bristol have hit out at the new “studio pods” installed on campus, that they say are “not fit for humans”.

The 21 new en-suite pods were installed in the car park at the University of West England (UWE) last month in response to an increased demand for student accommodation.

But the 8x10-ft pods have been branded "appalling" and "not mentally viable" by students living there - some of whom are moving out after just one month.

Students living in the Purbeck Court pod flats claim they have been taunted by other students in nearby halls of residence for "not living in real accommodation".

Students say the accommodation is 'not fit for living' (SWNS)

Other complaints have included limited communal space, thin walls, and being overlooked by an existing hall of residence.

The studio pods are costing residents £150 per week - whilst campus accommodation ranges from £111 to £183 per week.

First-year history student Joe Oakes-Monger told the BBC he had decided to move out because it was "quite isolating" to live in "a very confined space".

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He said: "It's a strange place to spend quite a large part of your time in. There's not really anywhere else to go.

"At the time [I moved in] I was desperate for accommodation, but I was pretty appalled. I couldn't quite believe the prospect of spending a year there."

He added it was "not an appropriate living standard for a human being".

The 21 new en-suite 'studio pods' were installed in a university car park last month in response to an increased demand for student accommodation (SWNS)

Fellow student, Jack Fifield, who writes for the university's student magazine, said he had heard complaints the housing fees were too expensive.

The university has said it will be evaluating the value for money of the new units.

Mr Fifield told the BBC: "They [the university] say it's a pilot scheme but they shouldn't be testing it on live students.

"They need to reduce the rent and retroactively refund them."

Some residents have been taunted by other students in nearby halls of residence for 'not living in real accommodation' (SWNS)

Also speaking to the BBC, a university spokesperson said the pods had been "used successfully elsewhere, including student accommodation at other universities".

The spokesperson said the flats provided students with the opportunity to live on campus during their first year.

"We are working closely with the students living in this accommodation to respond to their feedback," they said.

"This will be used to inform our future accommodation plans and to see whether the pilot may be extended beyond this academic year."

The studio pods are costing residents £150 per week (SWNS)

The university's vice chancellor, Steve West, has offered to meet with students living in the pods.

"We are trying to create communities for the increasing number of students who want to live on campus," he said.

"The pilot picked up on the need for social space: [a new communal area] is being built and will be on site soon."

UWE said it had plans to build a range of 2,000 additional student rooms on the campus, which would be ready by 2022.

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