Students at the University of Manchester have secured a 30% reduction in rent for the first semester, amounting to a £12 million payout.
UoM students living in university hall of residence accommodation will receive between £400-£900.
After two weeks of protesting, the group declared this “the biggest win for university rent strikes in UK history”.
Much anger was expressed by students regarding the lack support from the university during the pandemic.
In a statement published on the UOM Rent Strike Facebook page, student organisers alleged they had been “lied to and brought onto unsafe campuses, forced to pay insane rent for facilities [they] can’t access”.
In response to this, 15 students occupied Owen’s Park Tower, one of the university’s buildings, for two weeks.
The statement continued: “They brought us here for profit and made it very clear that they’re not on our side and plan to ignore us. So we’re occupying the tower until they respond.”
The university has stated, not only will they provide a rent reduction but also “more flexible accommodation agreements”.
In a statement, University of Manchester said they will provide: “better maintenance support”, “better study spaces’” while “tackling anti-social behaviour”.
The protest, and subsequent victory follows the tearing down of fences by students, which were erected without their prior knowledge around university halls.
The protest also follows a racial profiling incident on its Fallowfield campus. Video footage showed a 19-year-old student being pinned to a wall by three security guards, demanding to see his student ID.
The university acknowledged that this is a “serious incident” and that they were “deeply concerned by these images”.
As a result of the incident, calls for the resignation of the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Dame Nancy Rothwell, #NoMoreNancy gained momentum.