Universities should be 'fined' a day's rent for every night students spent in unsuitable accommodation - such as on gym floors at the start of term - because of lodging shortages, the National Union of Students has suggested.
In a members' charter, the union also called for a 15-week, two- term academic year, more flexible courses, an overhaul of the student finance system and penalties for the late arrival of grant cheques.
The charter is an attempt to pre-empt ministers who are busy preparing their own version together with plans to break the union's 'closed shop', to be disclosed next year.
The NUS aims to make universities more accountable, and has backed league tables.
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