Accommodation

Yes, applications are still open, and we have a limited number of rooms available for late applications.

We know that you may have concerns about accommodation for the next academic year, and that many of you are reticent about signing contracts with private landlords. We’ve worked with Bucks Students’ Union to develop a new accommodation package – which they fully endorse – for all new, returning and graduating and alumni students for 2020/21. Recognising the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, we’ve reduced all our accommodation charges between 10-30%.

  • Rooms in our COVID-secure student accommodation will start at £80 per week and include:
  • No deposit, flexible contract period and a public health crisis guarantee;
  • All utilities, free Wi-Fi and contents insurance;
  • 24-hour security, and on-site pastoral and welfare provision;
  • 1/3 off University gym membership;
  • Free membership of ‘The Bucks Café Club’ giving you discounts at all campus cafes; and
  • Bedding, cleaning and welcome packs available on request

We won’t charge you a deposit, and your contract won’t start until you’re required to be on campus and take up residence. Furthermore, if there is another public health crisis which prevents you from accessing our campuses, you’ll be released from your contract at no additional cost. Visit the accommodation area on the website for all rents.

No, we’re not.  We have reviewed our allocation policy and have been monitoring what other universities are doing.  The benefits offered by ‘course bubbles’ in accommodation are limited, due to a variety of other social interactions outside of those course and flat bubbles. In addition, bubbles would restrict what accommodation we could offer and would result in less students being allocated their preferred allocations and prevent some friends being able to live together.

We have now allocated rooms for almost all applications and sent confirmation.  We will continue to allocate rooms as we receive applications and send out confirmations as soon as we can.

The start of the halls contract is Sunday 20 September; however, we won’t be able to allow everyone to arrive on the same day, due to social distancing.

We are currently adding the finishing touches to the arrival process, which is more challenging this year.  We will email everyone who has accepted their room offer and tell them when they can complete their online induction and arrival.

We opened for arrivals from Saturday 12 September so that the majority of first year students can arrive in time for Welcome Week – we’re offering two-hour arrival slots from 7am to 9pm.  There will be plenty of arrival slots, but the number of people allowed to arrive at one point will be very limited, so we need to ask you to be both patient and flexible.  There will also be some restrictions around the process, to help keep people as safe as possible, these will include:

  • When you arrive, you will need to check in at the halls reception.
  • The reception area will be set up appropriately, but please make sure you allow enough distance between yourself and the staff.
  • You have been allocated to a two-hour time slot, please stick to that time.  Early arrivals will not be permitted and while late arrivals will be permitted but you will still be required to vacate by the end of your time slot.
  • You only have two hours, but will be allowed one member of your own household to assist you with the process.
  • You and everyone in your current household must not have been diagnosed with or had symptoms of COVID-19 for the last 14 days. If you have, you will need to arrange a later slot.
  • You and your helpers will need to wear face coverings in all communal spaces when moving in.
  • We currently have a ‘no guest policy’ in operation and so nobody will be permitted to stay overnight with you.
  • Social distancing – you need to adhere to social distancing guidelines, which means you must maintain a distance from everyone that you do not currently live with. Due to the limited access points for halls this may mean also backing up on stairs or near entrances, to allow people space.
  • Please follow hygiene guidance and wash hands regularly and use hand sanitiser when that is not possible. Helpers should avoid physical contact with surfaces and facilities and if they use communal toilets, they will need to clean them afterwards.
  • We would recommend using lifts for belongings only and advise that people use the stairs where possible.

We want to make sure that you have the best start or return to Bucks. You can read the latest UK UK Government guidance and find the current list of affected countries here.

Please be aware that the list of countries is changing regularly so please make sure you keep yourself updated. You’ll need to know how your travel plans might be impacted so that you can ensure you’re able to participate in the University’s Welcome Week which starts on 21 September before the start of term on 28 September.

We appreciate that this may make things difficult for you financially, and so we are pleased to offer you free accommodation in our halls from the date of your arrival in the UK until the start of your contract period with the University.

Please contact us at accommodation@bucks.ac.uk to arrange your arrival or if you have any other queries.  If you have already made travel plans that don’t fit these dates and timescales, please get in touch so we may advise you on next steps to ensure your arrival at Bucks is safe and enjoyable.

The bedding pack consists of the following:

  • Duvet
  • Pillow
  • Duvet cover
  • Pillowcase
  • Sheet

They are available on request, so please email accommodation@bucks.ac.uk in advance of your arrival to request one.

We have improved this offer in order to help the fight against COVID-19.  Instead of issuing individual cleaning starter packs that could have run out quite quickly we have decided to provide ‘sanitising stations’ in every flat in halls. This will comprise of an anti-viral cleaning spray and disposable cloth; it will be shared between the residents of the flat and we will replenish it when required throughout the year. Therefore, you do not need to ask for this to be provided.

You can find information about the gym on the website – www.bucks.ac.uk/fitness.  Please contact fitness@bucks.ac.uk for more information.

Absolutely, yes, we are!  We are doing the following:

  • Providing ‘sanitising stations’ in every flat, with cleaning materials available for the use of every student, supplies will be replenished when required.  This is particularly important to help students keep surfaces clean.
  • We are installing hand gel dispensers inside every flat and already have them in place by the entrances and exits.
  • We have arranged for additional cleaning in key areas.  We call this ‘touchpoint’ cleaning and it is targeted in areas where there is a lot of use by multiple residents.  This will include key circulation areas like entrances and lobby areas and will include cleaning of banisters, lift buttons and door handles.
  • We are putting up signage in all circulation areas to remind residents to socially distance.
  • We are putting posters up at key places inside flats to remind students about hygienic measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • We are asking students and staff to wear face coverings in all if they are moving around any space shared by more than one flat e.g. landings, entrances and stairwells

Please check UK Government guidance (as we will continue to) as guidance is likely to change; if we become aware of a change that will affect you in halls, we will tell you. At the moment you can visit one other household at a time, so yes, you can stay with friends or family, as long as you stick to the rules.

No. We’re sorry, but after significant discussion and consideration, we have decided that guests in the halls cannot be permitted (this includes external visitors, but also residents of other halls of residence). We understand that this won’t suit everybody, but it is the only fair and manageable approach that allows us to comply with guidance and keep the halls as safe as possible.

We will keep this under review, and so it will be a ‘fluid’ policy, depending on how the coronavirus situation develops. We will of course let residents know if this changes.

Following the latest UK Government guidance, we are unable to permit any gatherings in the halls – this means that you cannot go into anyone else’s flat to work or socialise.

Parties have never been permitted in halls but have now been openly prohibited by the government, and so it is exceptionally important that this rule is adhered to now, as parties are not conducive to social distancing and are likely to promote the spread of coronavirus.

We will continue to monitor guidance as the coronavirus situation develops and if we become aware of a change that will affect you in halls, we will tell you.

All students and staff (unless they are exempt) are always required to wear a face covering, if they are moving around any space shared by more than one flat e.g. landings, entrances and stairwells, irrespective of their social distance from others. Face coverings do not need to be worn within your own flat – that area is considered a household, and your home.

Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, room transfers are all being reviewed on a case by case basis and only those that have a serious detrimental impact on the health of the resident will be considered.

We will be producing some specific guidance around what to do and support available before the start of term. However, as soon as coronavirus is suspected, your household (flat) will be expected to immediately self-isolate and the individual who has symptoms will need to arrange for a COVID test. You should check the guidance on the NHS 111 websire and read the UK Government’s Stay at home advice. You should also notify student.centre@bucks.ac.uk.

The University is developing plans for students affected in this way to ensure they are provided with the necessary wellbeing and practical support.

2019/20 Academic Year (for students who were resident in halls before July 2020)

Any rent that has already been incurred will need to be paid.

However, we understand that some students will be experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19, so we’re trying to offer some flexibility.

Email accommodation@bucks.ac.uk with more information and we’ll be in touch. You need to contact us about your debt, so that we can manage it effectively.  In some cases it may still be necessary to pass debts to an external agency to manage.

We will need all keys back before the start of September. If you still have your keys we will contact you about returning them.

If you are unable to return your keys personally, you will need to post them back.  If you post them, please send them directly to the reception of your halls of residence. Please use a well-sealed, padded envelope, send by recorded/registered delivery and include only your ID and Name (not the room number).

We are now starting to box up and store belongings that have been left in kitchens and bedrooms.  What we do will be recorded and belongings will be stored safely ready for collection.

Please do not arrive to collect belongings without making arrangements with the Accommodation Service in advance.  You can also arrange for someone else to collect belongings for you, as long as you arrange it with us in advance.

If you are not returning to the UK and are unable to collect your belongings, please contact us and we can work out the best way to get your things back to you.

If your account ended in credit, then we will either roll the money over to next year (if you return to halls) or arrange a refund. Please contact us on accommodation@bucks.ac.uk if you believe you are due a refund.