It comes after that students They were told to stay where they were – while many were still in family houses during the Christmas break – until at least mid-February, with classes going online as part of stricter new measures Coronavirus.
At the end of the academic year, they also receive a four-week free extension of their rental contract.
Both the discount and the extension are valid for students who are checked in between January 18th and February 14th but are not staying in their accommodation.
students told The independent last week they were frustrated at the prospect of paying hundreds of pounds in rent for accommodations that they were unable to use due to lockdown.
Some universities, such as Essex, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle, have already confirmed that students will not have to pay rent at their accommodation if they do not return to their accommodation during the lockdown.
According to Universities UK, the “vast majority” of students do not rent university-owned accommodation and rely on decisions made by private landlords or other providers.
Richard Smith, Unite General Manager, said, "The new rental discount recognizes the challenges and disruptions faced by students following the recent government ban, and we believe it is right to take these steps."
Under the new lockdown in England, only students on certain courses – such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences – have been told that face-to-face tuition will resume. Everyone else was told to "stay wherever possible" and study online until mid-February, under government guidance.
A spokesman for the Department of Education (DfE) said the department is encouraging universities and accommodation providers "to review their accommodation policies to ensure that they are fair, transparent and that the well-being of students is the focus".