University halls 'being replaced with expensive Instagrammable hotel-style rooms'

A claim that university halls are being replaced with "Instagrammable" hotel-style rooms "that are rapidly becoming unaffordable for students" features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Telegraph reports that think tank the Higher Education Policy Institute said universities are increasingly building "luxurious" residences "with neon art and hanging plants to attract wealthy foreign students". It adds that the think tank "warned that the result is rents for halls are soaring and now account for more than 70 percent of students’ average annual spending".

An article in The Financial Times (subscription) says that a subsidiary of tech giant Google has secured permission to move forward with its plan for a $1.3bn "smart city" scheme in the Canadian city of Vancouver that can "connect, monitor and interact with people." The paper says that a Canadian government agency has given "provisional permission to Sidewalk, a division of Google, to move forward with its plan" to "create one of the most advanced ‘smart cities’ in the western world, replete with architecture that can connect, monitor and interact with people". It adds that "Sidewalk executives also hope to replicate this experiment elsewhere, meaning that Toronto is effectively a Petri dish, the results of which will be observed and used to design future developments".

The FT also reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has "pledged large-scale investments in green technologies, including more charging points for electric cars and plans for increased use of offshore wind power generation".

An article in The Times (subscription) reports that "the north-south divide in property prices will continue to narrow over the coming five years, with house prices set to rise by 24 per cent in the North West but by only 4 per cent in London," according to property firm Savills.

An article in The Telegraph reports that "a court is poised to rule on whether Sainsbury’s broke the law when it pulled out of building a new £7m supermarket". The paper says that "the UK’s second largest grocer was taken to court over claims it breached a contract when abandoning the project for the store in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire". It adds: "The case was heard in the Chancery Division of the High Court in London last week and Judge Simon Monty QC said a verdict is expected in the next few weeks."

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