Students at Exeter College are to face a sharp increase in the cost of living if proposals put forward by the College come to fruition.
If the proposal, put forward to the JCR during preliminary rent negotiations this week, comes into force, it is set to increase the cost of living by an average of £332 for for students living in College. The documents received suggest that this is down to College increasing charges across the board.
Rents are to increase by 5.01% increasing the cost of the average, mid-level room in Exeter to £3329.99 a year. This figure is well above the average across all 31 colleges, which stands at £2979.87 a year.
At Exeter, the Catering Charge, the mandatory charge paid by students for use of Hall, is to rise by 11.3%. This would see the charge, which does not include the cost of meals, to £313 a term. Comparable charges at other Colleges are significantly less; the Hall charge is £58 at Jesus College, while the kitchen amenity charge at Balliol stands at just £18.40.
On top of this, students will have to pay £4.10 for every (non-formal) two-course meal they eat in hall. This too is notably higher than the Oxford average of around £3. At Worcester, a three-course formal served meal is cheaper than the proposed Exeter price for the basic two-course dinner.
The proposed changes come in the wake of efforts by OUSU to keep rents across the university frozen for the next academic year. A motion passed at OUSU Council in 1st week declared that “rent levels should be set with students’ ability to pay as the foremost consideration,” and was intended to “set the tone” for future negotiations between individual JCRs and colleges. In 2009-10, Exeter was the 8th cheapest college in terms of living costs.