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Accommodation: Remedy - PI091606

University of Winchester

The University of Winchester was unable to provide local accommodation to a student at the start of his course.

The student complained on the basis that he had accepted a place through clearing on the understanding that the University would guarantee him University-managed accommodation, and about the delay in letting him know that it would not be able to accommodate him in Winchester. He also complained that when he was later offered accommodation elsewhere in the city he was not offered the same help with travel costs as other students.

The University upheld his complaint "for the most part" and issued an apology. However it did not offer any financial compensation for travel costs or for distress.

We concluded that the University’s reasons for not providing assistance with travel costs were reasonable and that the student had not provided evidence of any actual financial losses. However, given the University’s acceptance that the student had been caused distress, we concluded that the University ought to have offered some financial compensation, in addition to the apology.

We decided that the complaint was Partly Justified.

We recommended that the University should pay the sum of £500 to compensate for the distress and inconvenience caused by the delay in advising the student that it was unable to locate accommodation in Winchester, and failure to offer direct financial help towards travel costs instead of catering vouchers of a commensurate financial value when the offer of accommodation in another city was made.