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KIS record 2015/16

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KIS record 2015/16

Accommodation costs

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Version 1.0 Produced 2015-02-05

The data returned in the accommodation related fields should relate to the year prior to the academic year for which students are applying. For example, for the KIS published in September 2015 Location.INSTUPPER should contain the upper quartile cost of provider owned/sponsored beds for the 2015/16 academic year. There are a number of methods for calculating quartiles (see In populating the KIS any of these methods are acceptable: providers should retain details of the methods used to aid data verification.

Quartiles are defined as the points above (or below) which 25% of a distribution sits. Thus to calculate quartiles you need to know how many rooms make up 25% of the total rooms available. The following shows an example on how to calculate the upper and lower quartiles:


Quartiles are defined as the points above (or below) which 25% of a distribution sits. Thus to calculate quartiles you need to know how many rooms make up 25% of the total rooms available. The following example shows how to calculate the upper and lower quartiles.

Cost Number of rooms Rooms at this price or lower
£2,500 25 25
£2,750 40 65
£3,200 30 95
£4,000 50 145
£4,500 10 155

There are 155 rooms in total. To get the quartiles we need to order the rooms in ascending cost order and calculate how many rooms are at or below each cost. The lower quartile is then the cost of the 39th ((155 +1)/4) room. The upper quartile is then the 117th (3*(155 + 1)/4) room. So in this example the lower quartile is £2,750 and the upper quartile is £4,000.

Occasionally, the calculations may lead to trying to identify a room that is not a whole number. For example if there were 262 rooms the lower quartile would be room number 65.75=(262+1)/4 and the upper quartile would be room number 197.25=3*(262+1)/4. In most cases the rooms either side of the number will have the same value in which case this should be returned. However, in some cases the rooms may have different values; in these cases, statisticians will normally take an average of the values. However, for KIS purposes the following convention is acceptable:

Room number ends with Lower quartile Upper quartile
0.25 Room below Room below
0.5 Room below Room above
0.75 Room above Room above

Accommodation costs may be reported to the nearest £100. Where providers choose to report figures not rounded to the nearest £100 these will be rounded prior to inclusion in the KIS.

The costs given should be the full costs for an academic year and should include all compulsory charges. For example, if some rooms are only available on a catered basis then this cost should be included. Where rooms are available for differing periods, e.g. full-year or term-time only, then the lower cost should be given to the extent that rooms are available on that basis. So if half the rooms are only available for term time and the remainder are let for 52 weeks then calculations of quartiles would include 50% at the lower term time cost and 50% at the full year cost.

If not all accommodation is available to undergraduates, only those places available to undergraduates should be included in accommodation costs and numbers.

Provider owned/sponsored

This should include bed spaces in any of the descriptions below but without double counting of the bed spaces when applicable to more than one description. A single figure is required covering all of the categories listed below.

  • provider owned bed spaces available to students irrespective of management, operating and marketing arrangements
  • Bed spaces in known premises consisting of over 10 bedrooms exclusively or primarily used solely for the provider students or shared with students from other providers
  • Estimated bed spaces in known premises consisting of over 10 bedrooms not solely used by students which are likely to be used by the provider's students
  • Bed spaces in formal nomination agreements with third party providers in known premises
  • Bed spaces in known premises sponsored by the provider and available to provider's students
  • Bed spaces in premises leased to the provider and available to the provider's students.

Private sector

Existing housing supply available to students on a shared housing basis, typically ranging from 3 to 9 bed properties in residential areas in close proximity to the provider's estate. They are owned and managed by private landlords and agents and whose primary governance is via the Housing Act 2004.

It is accepted that this cost will not be a precise calculation and that providers will want to draw on information from local letting agents and their own accommodation offices. For providers where a significant number of students find accommodation through a central accommodation office, quartiles should be based on the rents advertised by the accommodation office for rooms that were let in the academic year. Where no central accommodation office exists, but it is known that significant numbers of students access accommodation via letting agents, these agents should be approached to give an approximate distribution of the number of rooms let and their cost for a full year. These figures can then be used to derive the quartiles. Where neither of the above approaches is practical then a small scale survey of students known to be living in private rented accommodation would be acceptable. The size of any survey would need to take into account both the spread of courses and the amount of variation observed, however, as a rule of thumb a sample of 50 students is likely to provide sufficient accuracy.

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