£600,000 of Damage at Scottish Universities

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Broken headboards, flooding, fire damage and stained mattresses are the most common forms of damage done by Scottish students in their halls of residence. New figures show that universities in Scotland have suffered over £600,000 worth of damage by their own students in the last five years, with an average of seven new cases each day.

Figures have been taken from all of Scotland's 21 universities since the year 2006, with the total amount of damage adding up to £610,000, spread over 14,000 different cases.

Aberdeen University has the dubious honour of having the most reckless students, as it recorded £144,000 worth of damage in the past five years. However, the university claimed that the vast majority of the damage caused was simply through everyday use and that very few students are ever fined for damage to their rooms:

"Most of the damage is identified once the students have vacated the property and it is unlikely to lead to disciplinary action...Students who have persisted in causing vandalism have been evicted from student residences."

Notably, the University of Edinburgh, one of the top universities in the UK and where former Prime Minister Gordon Brown studied, came in an (un)respectable third place in the damage table, with £113,000 worth of damage caused.

Covering the Costs

Of the universities that were questioned, they all maintained that they had no cause for concern with the amount of damage done. The figures revealed that there were remarkably few fines for students who had caused damage in the five year period. The President of NUS Scotland, Robin Parker, explained the lack of disciplinary action by blaming mush of the damage on simple "wear and tear" and the rest caused by a "tiny minority" of students.

However, some people have been less than impressed by this explanation, calling for the students themselves to pay for any damage. Robert Oxley- the Campaign Manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance said:

"Students causing mayhem in their halls should cover the costs themselves of any damage they inflict on university accommodation. Taxpayers expect the higher education budget to be spent on academic results, not fixing the furniture broken by drunken students."

Ultimately, whilst the majority of students would never intentionally damage their accommodation, to spend a year living the student lifestyle and not break or stain anything is a minor miracle.

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