Tag: students

The Nottingham Student Housing Co-operative

The Nottingham Student Housing Co-operative are aiming to change how we see student housing, and how students experience it.

There is a much-mocked photo, somewhere, of a pair of local councillors gurning miserably at the thought that more students might move into their patch. The message was clear, students are not welcome here. They’re lazy, they’re feckless and they’re noisy. As a student I took this slightly personally, I am not lazy, I am not feckless and I am only occasionally noisy. Usually during karaoke at the White Lion.

However, the reality is that student housing is not very good. The houses are “investments” for people who don’t live in Beeston and don’t care to put any money into their investment. They become rundown, decrepit and the students lose any pride in them. It is a vicious, self-defeating cycle and it’s one that myself and some others decided to change.

The Nottingham Student Housing Co-operative has three simple goals: student housing that is accountable to the tenants and the community, that is cheaper, and that does not leave its residents with horror stories. This is our pitch to our members but also to the people of Beeston. We want to change how you see students and how you see student housing.

Our rent both pays our mortgage and, more importantly, generates a surplus that allows us to invest back into the house and community

I have lived, as a student, in Beeston for 5 years now. I write for The Beestonian and I feel like part of the community and this is part of my effort to return the favour. We are currently looking for a first property in the area and that means being transparent with you, the good citizens of Beestonia.

Our model is simple, we obtained investment from other co-operatives, including the retail shops, and used it to buy a house. Students rent it, renovate it and pay for it. Our rent both pays our mortgage and, more importantly, generates a surplus that allows us to invest back into the house and community.

Students also have democratic control. They get to vote on the direction the co-operative takes and how that money is spent. They get to take ownership of their house in a way that makes them proactive, responsible members of the community.

Our current plan, should the building be big enough, is to make ourselves not just a home for students but a community hub. Other co-operatives have engaged in local activism, offering food kitchens, community meals and vegan cooking classes and we want to be part of that tradition.

This model has worked across the USA and Australia and we want to replicate this success. There are currently 150 beds in housing co-operatives, within 5 years we want to make that 10,000.

We know that when a lot of people think students they think of Lenton and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to Beeston. We are going to be a proactive part of this town and we will do it because we love Beeston.

TR

The Twelve Days at Uni…

On the first day of Christmas my Uni sent to me: A nine grand tuition fee

(Imagine starting out with a 9 grand tuition fee…

…oh…and technically of course it’s the government that means we have the fees, but it doesn’t scan as well.)

But less of that grumpy stuff, ’tis the season to be jolly, so forthwith, a carol of our times:

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Uni sent to me:
Twelve student e-mails
Eleven impact pathways
Ten masters projects
Nine grant rejections
Eight Moodle mandates
Seven 4 star papers
Six weekends marking
Project xxxxxxxxxxxxx *
Four strategies
Three 9 a.ms
Two peer reviews
and a nine grand tuition fee.

Wishing you all an admin free Christmas and a grant filled New Year.

* feel free to include a 2 syllable project of your choice here.

Prof J

University of Beestonia

September. Blimy it’s come round quick again.

The new academic year will just about be on us by the time we go to print and as I write there’s a clear shift in gear around the university as staff begin to fill their diaries with teaching commitments for the coming year. The summer as ever has flown by and as we look towards the new term we can also reflect on goals for the summer fulfilled, or not. It’s a cliché in academia for a reason, back in June the summer vacation always seems like a wonderful clear sunny space for pushing back global research agendas, only for September to arrive and well… it was sunny for at least one or two days…

All our time is becoming more squeezed and in our industry this is no different, there’s been some interesting media talk over the summer about 2 year degrees, and market forces not working, or at least not how government envisaged they would work, which maybe isn’t exactly the same thing. Maybe, or hopefully, just silly season talk.

Either way new students will roll into our universities, and into Beeston, over the next few weeks. University is a great opportunity for them and I encourage all students reading this to embrace the opportunities the experience will give you, in terms of training both formal and informal. Enjoy and respect our wonderful town of Beeston and please make the most of our fantastic places to eat, drink and shop.

New academic years also see changes in personnel in many universities, and east of Broadgate the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham Professor Sir David Greenaway will retire at the end of September after serving the University for 30 years, with 20 of those as a member of its Executive Board. That’s quite a stint and we at the Beestonian wish Sir David all the best for his retirement. We also welcome Professor Shearer West who will be the University’s new Vice-Chancellor.

A new year, old and new challenges, the odd glimpse of sunshine… bring it on!

Prof J

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