The University has confirmed that the number of students returning to University owned accommodation is at its highest since 2011.

According to figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request submitted by The Saint, a total of 975 second, third and fourth year students have returned to stay in halls or other University managed accommodation for this academic year. This is in comparison with a mere 806 last year, which was the lowest number since 2010.

A spokesperson for the University commented: “We’re satisfied that continued demand for University owned accommodation reflects student confidence in our good value, high quality accommodation.” Students’ Association President, Pat Mathewson, also commented on the increase in students returning to live in halls.

He told The Saint: “Many students see the opportunity of returning to halls as a viable alternative to the still highly pressurised private housing market,”

He also explained that the University has plans to increase the amount of student accommodation they own.

“This is precisely why we have been working closely with the University in looking to expand the University’s own accommodation portfolio,” he said.

The increased numbers in those returning to halls follows the ongoing controversy over a perceived lack of student accommodation in St Andrews. These concerns came to a head earlier this year when students launched a petition demanding that the university take action on this issue. The petitons eventually gained over 1,400 signatures.

This was followed by an organised student protest over housing during the Catherine Stihler’s rectorial installation in February of this year.

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