Call upon UCL to recognise and act upon lack of library study spaces

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Already paying at least £9,000 a year, too many students are having to get to UCL as early as 8.45 am during exam time to secure a study space at the university library. Students have been studying on the floor, working through the night or temporarily moving in with friends closer to campus to arrive in time for a desk. Student numbers have risen from 19,365 to 39,473 in the past 10 years, while expansion of facilities have failed to increase in accordance. This leaves over 22 students per on-campus quiet study space, also affecting queues for toilets and UCL cafes. This provides an additional stress given the new 30 minute limit for time spent away from your desk.

While additional study spaces are planned in the UCL East campus (to be opened in 2020/1), we believe that the current situation is unacceptable for a world-class university that UCL claims to be.

We do appreciate that:

-The Main Library, Science Library and Cruciform are now currently open 24 hours

-Halima Begum, UCLU Education and Campaigns Officer has managed to secure an average of 503 study spaces per day, open 9am-9pm during the exam period

-The National Student Survey is now being used as a justification for raising tuition fees even higher, leaving us with no option but to boycott it, so this has further limited our ability to raise these issues

Primarily, we ask UCL to make better temporary use of available space around the university, such as teaching and conference rooms.

In addition, we recognise that study spaces in libraries are the most useful and ask UCL to act on the augmentation of library provision, which may require building additional libraries.

Fundamentally, we believe that if student numbers continue to increase at the current rate, it will only put further strain on existing facilities. We therefore call on the university to curb the growth in student numbers until sufficient facilities are available.

The overcrowding isn't just a problem for students but staff as well, as expressed in this recently published Guardian article.

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