2014 The Class Trend Report

Page 1

Edition 2015


Annual Trend Report

Millennials take the Spotlight

How a disruptive Generation is changing your Business Model Universities & Housing Providers: Friends with Benefits New: European Student Housing Investors International University City Strategies 1

The Class of 2020 is supported by institutional partners, investors, student housing providers, and media partners. Partners


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JOIN THE CLASS OF 2020! The Class of 2020 is an Amsterdam-based non-profit foundation established with a simple goal: to further the professionalism and knowledge of student housing in Europe and beyond. We sponsor research and organize events such as lectures, workshops and an annual conference. In this annual publication we write about the latest trends and market developments. Increase your expertise, broaden your network and meet the leading players of the industry by supporting the Class of 2020 as a partner, sponsor or member. 2 Interested in the possibilities? Contact info@classof2020.nl for more information.

MOVING FORWARD, TOGETHER Editorial Millennials have a reputation issue. They seem to change everything, and faster than anyone before. The instant success of AirBnB, Uber taxis and Whatsapp signifies how disruptive changing consumer behaviour mixed with the right amount of technology can be for existing business models. Are Millenials challenging the comfort zones of higher education and student housing as well? Higher education represents possibly the largest and most important investment in a young person’s life. One’s choice of university and study will determine much of their life and career. Students and their parents weigh the long-time costs of bad education and short-time investments. No wonder they are demanding that universities listen to them and deliver the quality and experience they expect. Flexibility, service and soul The Dutch minister of education recently asked students if internationalisation should be the norm. One student answered adamantly: “We are made to travel, why would we otherwise have feet?” This year The Class of 2020 joined the global education & student housing debate at EAIE and ACUHO-I. And at each conference university leaders battled over the question whether MOOC’s will replace the university as we know it. But when you ask Millennials, the question would probably have been rephrased. It’s not IF but HOW digital learning will change the university. Or even better, HOW can digital learning make learning better and possible in different places?

Do the same trends and truths apply to the good old world of property and its young brother Student Housing? We believe there are many reasons to think so. Student housing is often the second largest expense after tuition fees so students question what they pay for and demand value for money. They want flexibility, service and soul, not just square meters. And they are not just talking to the owners of dorms and flats. They go straight to the university president’s office or take a housing complaint to Twitter when they feel things are not right or can be improved. They come up with alternative models of finding rooms (e.g. HousingAnywhere) and are even willing to share their couch if it provides an opportunity to get to know more people. Package approach Millennial students take a holistic approach to their education: they connect it to their home, their social life and career prospects. The package approach is self-evident for students and re-assuring for educators and housing professionals. Because when you get it right you will have happy students and they will send you their friends. So our upfront conclusion of this year’s trend report is that housing providers and educators should team-up and invite students to the dinner table to explore what the full potential of Learning and Living is. Consultants call this co-creation but that sounds so MBA. Just call it a meal and make it fun. But make sure you pay. Because some things never change.

Frank Uffen & Wouter Onclin Co-founder The Class of 2020 Research & Program Manager


LOOKING BACK AT 2014 THE LEADING EUROPEAN STUDENT HOUSING PLATFORM Looking back at 2014, it has been a productive year for The Class of 2020. In 2014, we launched the Class of 2020 academy, continued building Europe’s leading student housing network, reached out to the international higher education community, and welcomed new international partners. Some of last year’s highlights: 2013 Annual Conference The Next European Renaissance: Our first annual conference that was fully in English and had its focus on the European market instead of the Dutch. We welcomed nearly 300 guests and 24 speakers in Amsterdam to discuss the opportunities that higher education and student accommodation present to get Europe out of crisis mode. Partnership Programme proves Successful We are proud to welcome UNITE Students, Housing Anywhere, Vingcard Elsafe, Crosslane, Greystar and MPC Capital as our new corporate partners. With our partner’s portfolios and ambitions put together, The Class of 2020 has certainly become the leading student housing platform in the European market. Academy: Partner Excursion and Partner Meeting, Barcelona Hosted by Melon District in cooperation with RESA, a group of delegates from our partners gathered in Barcelona to learn about student accommodation developments in the Spanish market. We also took the opportunity to host our first strategic partner meeting. Academy: Launch of News Services: Tweets, Newsletter and Database We have started to systematically make an inventory of student housing news throughout Europe and sharing it through our twitter account and through monthly newsletters. Our new online database makes this news archive accessible to our partners and members. PropertyWeek, London The Class of 2020 was represented at the PropertyWeek Student Housing event in London in December 2013 Student Housing Investment Breakfast at ULI, Paris In partnership with the Urban Land Institute, the Class of 2020 organised a student housing investment breakfast at the ULI conference in Paris. Student Housing Roundtable at MIPIM, Cannes Together with our media partner PropertyEU we


organized a student housing roundtable at MIPIM in Cannes. The Student Hotel, Syntrus Achmea and Jones Lang LaSalle invited potential investors to talk about the potential in the student housing market. Student Housing Drinks at LD Events, London Hosted by our partner Savills, we organised network drinks the evening prior to LD’s Student Housing event in London. Student Housing Network Event at PROVADA, Amsterdam Hosted by AM, we invited our network to the largest Dutch property fair PROVADA. ACHUHO-I and CUBO Frank Uffen spoke at the ACUHO-i conference in Washington DC about developments in the European student accommodation market, while Wouter Onclin represented The Class of 2020 at CUBO’s summer conference at Royal Holloway College. Living and Learning Breakfast at EAIE conference, Prague At the conference of the European Association for International Education in Prague, we organised a breakfast session about the importance of accommodation in international education. Student Housing Networking Event at EXPO REAL, Munich Hosted by Bouwfonds, we got our network together for a drink and a chat in Munich. Amsterdam University Capital Debate As a follow-up to the 2013 conference, we brought together Amsterdam’s leadership from the academic, the public and the private sectors to discuss how Amsterdam is doing as an international student city. The Hague International Student City Workshop Together with research partner StudentMarketing, we organised a workshop for the higher education community of The Hague to work on next steps for the city’s positioning as international student city.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 5 6 11 13 17 22

DISRUPTION & OPPORTUNITY Marti Grimminck on Opportunities that Millennials bring EVOLUTION OF STUDENT LIFE Maureen MacDermott about Trends and Innovation THE MALL OF MILLENNIALS Samuel Vetrak on what’s hot and what’s not THE FLIPPED BEDROOM Bringing Education to the Student Bedroom MILLENNIALS LIKE IT MEANINGFUL Trends in the Youth Travel Industry FAMILY-STYLE LIVING Susan Goldstain on the Comeback of Homestays





29 30 34 36

38 40


44 47 50 53 54 54 57 57 58 59 61 62 63


THE RISE OF MULTINATIONAL STUDENT HOUSING & HIGHER EDUCATION PLATFORMS Going Global THE RISE OF MULTINATIONAL INVESTOR: THE CHALLENGER VERSUS THE INCUMBENT. Xavier Jongen on Good Capital THE MULTINATIONAL UNIVERSITY Maurits van Rooijen about the future of the university THE RISE OF EUROPEAN STUDENT HOUSING INVESTOR Where does the Money come from? WHERE THE MONEY GOES A Maps of Europe’s international Student Housing Investors UNIVERSITY & HOUSING PARTNERSHIPS: FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS How Partnerships can help the Evolution of the European market THE POWER OF RANKINGS A Map of Europe’s finest Universities HOW CITIES COMPETE FOR TALENT The Role of public Policy in attracting Millennials


Millennials take the spotlight

A new generation is challenging and changing the way we do business. With new technology, a love for sharing resources and a hate for rigid systems, your industry might be the next one millennials turn upside down. In this section we explore the opportunities that this disruptive generation brings. Who is the millenial? What drives them in life? How do they make their decisions? What trends are they causing in student living? How do millennials travel? And why is WiFi in the bathroom so important? Meet the new generation, meet the millennial.



DISRUPTION & OPPORTUNITY When you hear the word ‘Millennial,’ it evokes a sense of mystery, frustration or admiration in most people. Almost nobody reacts indifferently to the term. As a generation, they are anything but idle. On the contrary, they are rapidly causing commotion in every sector of industry because they are adopting new business models. This is nothing new; every generation has pushed the boundaries of the previous generation. But the Millennials are not the same as their predecessors. Their arrival marks a new era of thought, interaction and existence. The Millennials, who are now roughly 18-30 years old, grew up in a digital era, with global connectivity and social media. As a result, they are highly connected, technologically advanced and globally conscious. According to Deloitte, they will make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025.

Digital connectivity Technology has created new ways for people to connect, interact, share, and buy goods. Take the new business models found in the sharing-economy, they have already had a major impact on the accommodation and housing sector. Many cities and traditional travel organisations object to companies like Airbnb or Couchsurfing, citing public safety and unfair competition, but all too often, their motivation is to hold onto their market share. Nevertheless, sharing-economy companies are actually growing and enhancing market opportunities by opening new channels to reach customers.

The opportunity Whether they are travelling or at home, Millennials are driving innovation to create new projects and services around the globe. They are highly open to new formats in products and services - but new rules govern the way in which these are consumed, experienced and shared. Many higher education institutes around the world recognise this and in response have launched a huge number of online courses or new education formats teaching a different kind of entrepreneurship.

This group requires targeted products, strong technology and new business models, but more than anything else it wants to find authentic ways to have a positive social impact on communities worldwide. Ultimately, this is a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs who embrace innovation and are able to bring about the change this generation wants to see. Marti Wigder Grimminck @IntlConnector @MartiGrimminck

Having social impact With unlimited information at their fingertips and the ability to connect with peers globally, Millennials are holding companies accountable for how they do business. This new group of consumers demands that companies buy from and work for organisations that benefit the environment, people and communities both on a local and global level.

They are not satisfied with lip service in the form of a Corporate Social Responsibility clause; Millennials want to see global impact with philanthropic values incorporated into a company’s core products and services. In fact, according to the data released at MCON14: The Millennial Impact Conference organised by the Case Foundation, 55% of Millennials in the US decided to accept their job after discussing cause work in their interview. In other words, a Millennial would only accept a job with a company that was already involved in activities which benefit society. Is your product environmentally safe? Who makes your product and what conditions do they work in? How does your company improve living standards in these communities? These are just some of the questions that Millennials are asking organisations.

Marti Wigder Grimminck


EVOLUTION OF STUDENT LIFE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATION IN EUROPE When we think historically about student accommodation in Europe, images of austere blocks of social housing flats come to mind. There were ample, state-subsidized or religiously-affiliated residences, but they were more a 'necessary evil' than an inviting home for future world leaders. Times are changing and we are now seeing an emergence of development and opportunity in Europe. The Bologna Declaration standardised many further education programmes, and this in combination with increased student mobility is putting pressure on universities to compete for the same students. As a result, universities need to differentiate more and improve their facilities, such as housing. The degrees themselves are still paramount, but what if there appears to be no difference? Then students may choose one university over another because, besides getting a good education, they will live in a new residence with modern conveniences and perhaps even a few luxuries. Forward thinking Student housing development is being driven by scarcity and profits. Students are now seen as active consumers rather than passive tenants, and following the UK’s example, developers and investors are keen to tap into this potentially lucrative market. While I’d like to think new developments are based on altruistic principals, often it’s the bottom line that counts. Not all developers are like that, and there are many fine examples of unique, creative, forward-thinking developments that offer great services to students. But careful consideration needs to be paid to quality and individuality. UK developments are influencing design in continental Europe, and vice versa. Nowadays, we see UK architects consulting continental firms to teplicate what has been done in the UK, and continental building companies are collaborating with UK developers to create pre-fab apartments with short assembly times. In one way, this is smart as lessons have been learned from the general housing crisis, making it easier to construct quality accommodation quickly. On the other hand, do we risk developing ‘cookie-cutter’ housing, by simply taking a design that’s been done in one place and placing it in the centre of Paris?

develop a common denominator versus a bespoke product. Not all students can afford a top-notch studio, but they are prepared to share a room or a cluster, so that they can live a certain lifestyle within their means. . One new development in Germany is developing solely singles as they believe that’s what their market wants. We’re also starting to see the emergence of single-purpose rooms, such as idea labs, art/fashion rooms, music rooms, study rooms for small groups and specialised communal kitchens. These purposebuilt spaces are particularly useful if you attend a university specialising in, let’s say, fashion, music, or culinary. One operator said he had installed full-sized ovens, reducing the number of complaints from students who need to cook for themselves, either for economic or cultural reasons. Generally speaking, communal kitchens need to be improved, whether it's the size of refrigerators, freezers or cupboards, or the number of ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks and utensils available. Sometimes it seems as though spaces are designed without considering how many people will actually use the space, and tend to be more about 'lip service' than actually providing a good amenities. In Spain, we see more on-site canteens, which tallies with the local culture of dining together. Green approach The OeAD in Austria has taken a 'Green’ approach, partly because of a strong interest in the environment and partly because it has an abundance of expertise in ecological construction methods. Passive Houses have been around for some time and they believe students appreciate living in sustainable and environmentallyfriendly residences. They are also experimenting with shipping containers and wood constructions, because containers are recyclable and wood is abundant. Very unique, local thinking. They are using local natural materials in their constructions and one project is using photovoltaic solar technology to achieve zero-energy consumption. On the student services front, they are adding live-in staff, installing saunas, and fitness centres. Outside space is also very important so they are adding a variety of courtyards.

One size doesn't fit all Most new developments offer a variety of room types: singles, twins, clusters. They offer separate or shared cooking facilities and a variety of amenities, such as study and internet rooms; and some even offer a cinema or swimming pool, in order to cater for, well… everyone. With more and more international students attending universities, one size no longer fits all, and it's easier to


Maureen McDermott

Greenhouse by Sigrid Hintersteininger Architects

Need for speed There is an ever-increasing need for speed. While wireless is standard, internet speeds are being raised from 20 to 100mb. Although most devices do not have the capacity currently to use 100mb, the marketing suggests the technology in these properties is cutting edge. However, if you are unable to connect more than two devices to your WiFi, you are already at a disadvantage. Students want to connect ALL their devices to WiFi. It’s simply too inconvenient to have to switch between devices able to use the network. Details matter Including linen and kitchen packs are the norm, but one operator is even providing hangers! It may not seem important, they help the student unpack and feel at home much more quickly. In addition, more and more student housing includes cleaning services. It may be a bit of a logistical challenge, but it helps maintain the integrity of the building. Also, culturally, many students are used to having a home help, so cleaning services are a welcome perk. University College Cork has responded to student demands by introducing an alcohol-free dorm for students who have no interest in drinking alcohol, nor want it in their living space. Surprisingly, the college discovered more and more students

prefer a quiet life in an alcohol-free environment. The increase in international students with different religious and cultural backgrounds means this is fast becoming a popular marketing tool. Plug in The lack of power sockets in rooms is another issue. And the ones that are there are often inconveniently located. Students have phones, computers, lamps, hair dryers, hair straighteners, electric tooth brushes, etc.... This is a problem as installing more power points is costly, and having power strips on the floor is a hazard. But with more than 60% of the occupants being female, power sockets at least need to be located near a full-sized mirror! Europe is the new frontier in the development of student accommodation and it will be exciting to see what happens next. Will we see an evolution in student living? Or will it be? Let’s welcome the lessons learned from our neighbours, but, at the same time, not forget the importance of quality and individuality on a local, architectural and materials level.

Mobile Student Dorm by Sigrid Hintersteininger Architects


SPOTLIGHT ON JOHN John • 22 years old • From New York, USA, now living in Amsterdam with a roommate he has known since highschool • MA in Finance and Real Estate Finance • Data analys intern • Experience with student accommodation in Amsterdam

John is a student in Amsterdam, where he has done his Bachelor’s program and is now studying for a Master in Finance and Real Estate Finance. Student Accommodation experience “When I started my BSc in Amsterdam, I shared a kitchen with around 10 other students. I liked that all the facilities that I needed were right there, but having to share common rooms and kitchen with people who are sloppy and don’t clean up after themselves was a big pain.” Are you a Millennial? “I’m not sure. On the one hand, I do relate to the main traits of Millennials. I consider myself to be politically liberal and I am religious although I don’t relate to modern religious institutions. On the other hand, I admit to being slightly narcissistic and also more individualistic and independent, which leads me to believe I am not a member of the Peter Pan generation.” Future plans John’s dream is to move back to New York City and become a CFO of a big company. But first he would like to work in the financial services industry trying to make enough progress to be transferred to a different location somewhere abroad. “My biggest fear is living a life I’m living out of necessity, rather than choice. But I realize that my objectives will probably change along the way.”

“My biggest fear is living a life I'm living out of necessity rather than choice” John, aged 22 10

Verena Cojic, Cologne, Germany


SPOTLIGHT ON MARINA Marina • 24 years old • From Cyprus, currently living in Nicosia with her parents • Msc in Architecture and Urban Planning • Looking for a job • Experienced student housing resident

Marina currently lives with her parents in Nicosia while looking for a job. After 6 years of studying abroad in France and the Netherlands, she is now thinking about the next step. Student Accommodation experience She lived in three different flats during her time abroad “The best thing about it is the friendships you build with other students. Partying, having fun, helping each other during the exam period, and sharing lots of coffee to keep studying! But unfortunately, rooms can be a bit small. Most important to me is the location. As long as it is in a nice neighborhood with lots of services!” Are you a Millennial? “Yes, I am a Millennial. I was born in the 1990s and I was influenced by all the technological and social innovations of that decade. Three words that describe my generation are fast, easy and global”. Future and dreams “I have no idea where I will be in a year from now, and I am glad I don’t. Most important to me is to live a happy life with the people I love and to have a successful career. Finding a balance is very important to me. And I believe I can achieve what I want. If I just follow my heart, it will definitely lead me somewhere nice.”

“I consider my phone and computer to be extensions of my body” Marina, aged 24 12

THE MALL OF MILLENNIALS WHAT IS HOT AND WHAT IS NOT To attract millennials, you have to know them. Knowledge is power. Vienna-based research group StudentMarketing has specialised in marketing strategies for this age group in the youth travel and international education sectors. As we’d all like to get to know these people a little better, we asked Samuel Vetrak to introduce us. They are young and optimistic, experience life to the fullest and are the largest generation cohort since their grandparents (Baby Boomers) – meet the Millennials. This age group, also known as Generation Y, Generation Next or the Digital Generation, was born between 1980 and 2000 and is now in early adulthood or just reaching it. Each generation introduces novel ideas into the world, but this one might be said to have turned the universe upside down. All doors are open to them, which means they can become whoever they dreamed of being, visit whatever place they can think of, while also working hard to reach their goals. They are highly educated, ambitious and keen to build their own path to success. And for Millennials, success is defined by doing something they love. Thirsty for practical learning In order to make this happen, they seek high-quality education that allows them to be relevant and to some extent independent in their professional lives. Therefore, they are thirsty to learn in a way that includes practical training, such as internships or work experience. While the primary motivation of Millennials is expanding their knowledge base and gaining the necessary professional skills, they highly value teaching methods which stimulate and engage as well as entertain them. This closely relates to the general trend of seeking travel opportunities which allow them to explore and enjoy life. They are able to make informed decisions before planning a trip – this is largely due to the widespread and growing use of the internet as a primary information resource, therefore opening the door to destinations that were previously unknown or unpopular among older generations of travellers.

(and often emotional) dependence on their parents, creating a situation unbound by a large number of high-level fixed expenses. The result of this is a large group of young adult consumers who are known for experimenting with and openness to trying new brands, spending freely for the purpose of their own satisfaction. When Millennials choose brands, they search for something that will complement their lifestyle while making them feel unique and capable of changing the world. The brands that are successful in doing this get closer to this generation, making them feel like an old friend. This is also accomplished by approaching this specific type of customer-brand relationship with a sense of what is important to them – sustainability, equality, animal freedom or helping the poor. Call and response If the provider listens carefully to what Millennials care about and respond to, they will be much more likely to engage this unique shopper. This should not be a difficult task, as they are always keen to give feedback on their experience with a product or service they bought. It is also important to note that technology plays a key role in the lives of Millennials. State of the art devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones become more than just a tool to simplify their lives, they actually become an inseparable part of their lifestyles. Various aspects of their existence are influenced and dependent on digital resources – e.g. online product reviews or mobile applications, such as a tour map or travel itinerary checklist apps. The extensive online habits of this generation alter the importance that businesses must place on technology, which is fast becoming a must-have (rather than nice-to-have) resource. This results in a need for a targeted approach on websites, allowing for easy and engaging feedback from these customers and, in turn, offering businesses a 1st hand perspective on what is important when dealing with this demographic group.

Financial dependence When making shopping decisions, whether booking a holiday or buying a new car, they make careful and informed choices based on a plethora of sources. Due to the fact that they have grown up in an era of widespread and intense advertising, Millennials have become weary and cautious consumers, understanding their role as a comodity. However, the cautious shopping habits of this generation do not limit their spending. They tend to prolong their financial Samuel Vetrak


HOW MILLENNIALS USE THEIR PHONE Daily time spent using various platforms















Source: O2




90 % 46 % % 40 35 % % 65 90 %

uses smartphone in bed

checks smartphone before breakfast

sends messages during dinner with family and friends

uses smartphone in bathroom


spends more time online than offline with friends

feels anxious without smartphone

shares photos online

SPOTLIGHT ON JUKKA Jukka • 25 years old • From Järvenpää, Finland, now living in Seoul sharing an on-campus room • Msc in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship • Student • Lived in student housing in three countries

Jukka is spending a semester abroad studying in South Korea. He shares a room with an American roommate on the university campus. “It’s small, but it’s good enough to sleep and study in for a fair price. “ Student Accommodation experience When Jukka lived in Southern Australia, he moved into a dormitory with 11 others who were mostly locals. "This helped me to make local friends and improve my English. It was a great experience to get to know my housemates." His experience in Helsinki student halls were less fortunate, "My roommates were extremely messy and the apartment was cold during the winter. For many of my friends in Finland, the biggest concern is finding a place to live." Are you a Millennial? "Millennial is quite an unfamiliar term for me and I usually shun generalisations. I guess I can identify with some characteristics describing Millennials." What the future holds Next spring, Jukka will graduate and look for a job. "I hope that I will be in a trainee program of some company or working fulltime somewhere in Europe or the US. My biggest dream is to settle down, have a normal life surrounded by friends and family, spend weekends at my summer cottage, travel every now and then and be happy."

“I would rather earn less doing something I like than worry about surviving another day in a company where I do not feel comfortable” Jukka, aged 25 15

THE FLIPPED BEDROOM The latest buzzword to hit higher education is coming home to roost. Nicola Yeeles finds out how flipped learning is bringing education and 1000 MB WiFi to student residences. Flipped: crazy, upside down, or spun in the air? The flipped classroom does indeed turn traditional pedagogy on its head. Instead of the lecturer or teacher giving a demonstration or talk to the students during contact hours, that input is offered online for students to experience at a moment convenient to them. Typically, this takes the form of a video, but it could also be a screencast or podcast. Contact time is then freed up for more interactive experiences: problem solving, collaboration or discussion.

Starting to flip Frank Steiner said, "For a university looking at flipped learning, the first decision is whether to invest or not." By way of example, Leeds University is currently investing £2m in a new lecture capture and multimedia management system. Starting from September 2014, around 50,000 hours of timetabled teaching activity will be recorded and published in the University’s virtual learning environment each year.

Like many trends in education, the notion is not new. It’s how the Open University has run its courses for over 40 years in many countries. In days gone by the technique might have been called blended learning, and the principle forms a key part of massively open online courses. But flipped learning has a new imperative. The UK government recently endorsed FELTAG recommendations that all publicly funded further education courses should provide 10% of their provision online by 2015–16, rising to 50% by 2017–18. How long before higher education does the same? As students become paying consumers, their expectations are rising. They are comfortable with video and they expect their learning to have elements of ‘gamification’ and interactivity. They also want classes to offer more than just a talking head.

There are pedagogical challenges too. Students need to buy in to the idea of peer learning and be sufficiently independent to access the resources. As more free videos pop up online, they will have to be shown the value of their paid-for education. Meanwhile lecturers will need training and support to embrace a new style of teaching, for example, in neatly ‘tying up’ an hour of contact time that has been delightfully unstructured and student-centric.

Proven benefits On the ground, the benefits to teaching and learning are numerous. Instead of focusing on input, which can be time consuming, lecturers can use their scheduled time together for discussion or reproduction of the taught concepts. As the lecturer is not tied to the lectern, there may be more opportunity for interactive, co-operative activities and for them to pay more attention to individuals during contact time. They also have more time to steer the class away from misunderstandings and errors.

First of all, flipped learning makes the availability of fast and reliable Wifi where students live a necessity for them to be able to engage in education. Internet is seen as a ‘fourth utility’, but this development makes it conditional to student living and puts extra pressure on the infrastructure. If 600 students stream their classes at the same time, you are going to need a lot of bandwidth.

Current climate In the US, flipped learning has received considerable attention in the last six to seven years, especially in the schools sector. European schools and universities are following suit. The Medical University of Graz started putting lectures online in 2011, freeing up contact time between students and professors. Since 2010 the University of Leuven has developed a system called VideoLab, a central database for lectures where students cannot only view their class, but also interact with professors and staff. Does it work? In a recent small scale study of lecture capture which surveyed 1,000 City University students, 91% of learners used lecture recordings and 93% of them said it helped their exam revision and assignment preparation. But beyond that, flipped learning has been shown to create statistically significant improvements to learning outcomes. Deslauriers et al (2011) compared two sections


of a physics class both taught via interactive lecture methods for the majority of the semester. During the 12th week of the course, half the class was given flipped learning, without a formal lecture. At the end of the week, students completed a multiple choice test, and they produced an average score of 41% in the control classroom and 74% in the flipped classroom.

What does a flipped bedroom look like? For universities across Europe, flipped learning seems to become increasingly important. But if learning flips, that doesn’t only mean more interaction in the classroom, it also means that student bedrooms become their lecture halls. What implications does this have on the way student residences are laid out?

Second, watching online videos and making notes replaces traditional ways of doing homework and preparing classes. We are already seeing a lot of demand for electric outlets close to beds, indicating that many students might be watching their classes while in bed. Traditional libraries are great for traditional homework, but not necessarily work so well for streaming videos. Students may desire different types of spaces, desks or screens in order to watch their lectures. Do students do this individually on their laptops and tablets, or does flipped learning create a new demand for spaces where students can take their classes in small groups without bothering others with the sound of their videos? A future for the flipped classroom? There is clearly much that needs to be in place for universities and student residences to fully embrace flipped learning. Lynette Lall is information and learning technology adviser at Jisc, which supports colleges and universities on the effective use of digital technology. Lynette highlights the need for a strategic approach to the issue: “It needs a whole organisation, leadership and management approach. Learning providers need to ask: how are

Photo by HackNY.org

you going to support the staff that are going to be at the front line delivering this? There is currently a disconnect between teachers and lecturers coming into the profession and how they are going to be supported in their jobs.� She points to the role of e-learning teams across further and higher education who will be critical in both helping staff to deliver flipped learning, and raising students’ digital literacy to cope with the changes. Within five years then, the exciting potential of digital technology for learning may actually start to be realised. Student accommodation providers should take note.

A previous version of this article first appeared in University Business Magazine, for more information visit: www.universitybusiness.co.uk


One-stop shopping for (D)TV, internet and full service. No hassle, no issues, low or even no investments needed! Already more than 18.000 Dutch student-houses are connected and serviced by the successful co-operation between ittdesk, UPC business and Ziggo Zakelijk. Wiring, switching and other technical hurdles will be taken care off, we even offer a dedicated student help-desk. Ask the students and find out yourself. We are more than willing to show you around. If you want to know more, call ittdesk to set an appointment (+31(0)88-4117788).


SPOTLIGHT ON JULA Jula • 27 years old • From Germany, currently living in Madrid with her boyfriend • BA in tourism • Student and Market researcher • Never lived in student housing

Jula moved to Madrid 5 years ago to stay for 9 months, but liked it so much she stayed, fell in love and found friends for life. Student Accommodation experience “Since I moved away from home when I was 18, I always loved to have my own place or share it with people I like. For me housing is really important. If I didn’t feel comfortable at home due to the conditions of the flat or boring flatmates, I would move somewhere else.” Are you a Millennial? “Definitely! I was 14 years old in 2001, I was one of the last people to know the boy band Take That and I used to wear purple leggings with stars on them.” Hopes, dreams and fears One year from now, Jula “will have to face reality,” as she put it. She will be done studying and will have to decide what’s next. “Am I going to move to another country? What kind of job am I going to apply for? Should I think about kids? Or should I travel the world? Everything is open and one year from now I see my life changing. I want to stay happy, healthy and rule the world ;-)” “I think, it’s very likely I will achieve my goals. I don’t ask for much. I believe in myself and know I have an exciting future in front of me.”

“I moved from Germany to Madrid for 9 months. That was 5 years ago” Jula, aged 27 18

MILLENNIALS LIKE IT MEANINGFUL International student mobility is accelerated by what is called “meaningful travel”. Philip Houghton, Chair of STAY WYSE observes that we are experiencing an era of unprecedented growth within the global travel market, with youth, student and educational travel at the forefront of this expansion. What are the key drivers of change within the youth travel accommodation sector? Generating over US$230 billion in revenue every year, the youth travel industry accounted for 217 million arrivals in 2013, with young people (under 30 years) making up 20% of international tourists. The youth travel market is also significant in terms of expenditure, which was estimated to be US$232 billion in 2013 and is forecast to rise to US$ 336 billion in 2020. Between 2007 and 2012, there was a 40% rise in spending by young travellers compared to a 3% annual rise on average across international tourism as a whole. As the youth travel market continues to thrive, our New Horizons III research provides a unique insight into how youth travellers are taking a leading role in changing the way we travel. Students are a particularly important segment in youth, student and educational travel, accounting for almost 59% of all respondents in the 2013 New Horizons survey. We know that young people

are travelling further, staying longer, spending more money and keeping in touch more than ever before. They are also pioneering new destinations, acting as early adopters of new travel technology, embarking on new travel experiences and embracing new forms of accommodation. Youth travel accommodation Hostels and student residences are becoming social hubs for travellers and locals, and new ‘Live like a local’ products are springing up in cities across the globe, such as the Once in Cape Town hostel that has a bar and café for backpackers and local residents. The youth travel accommodation market is also diversifying, not just because more accommodation types are being offered in the marketplace, but because different types of consumers are increasingly attracted to hostels and student residences due to the personal development gained from the social and communal atmosphere.

STAY WYSE STAY (Safe Travel Accommodation for Youth) WYSE – a WYSE Travel Confederation sector association - is the only global forum and not-for-profit trade association for organisations involved in youth travel accommodation. The association’s overarching mission is to be the voice and forum for providers of safe, affordable and clean youth accommodation in a communal atmosphere. STAY WYSE is a partner of The Class of 2020. For more information, visit www.staywyse.org.

“We are made to travel, why would we otherwise have feet?” International student at Stenden University

Philip Houghton


The impact of accommodation

Benefits granted from travel by accommodation type (% strongly agree)

A thirst for more travel

More appreciation of other cultures

More interest in other cultures

Increased language skills

More self-knowledge and awareness

More self-confidence

New ideas about career options

More tolerance of cultural differences

More understading of own culture

More awareness of issues of social justice 0 Student Residence




20% Hi Hostels




Independent Hostel


70% Apartment

Source: Youth Travel Accommodation Usage, 2013


Flashpackers are taking the industry by storm, but who is this new kid on the block? Sharing characteristics with the traditional millennial backpacker with the main exception being that they desire and can afford more luxury and comfort during their journey. Flashpackers for example spend more on accommodation opting for private and en-suite rooms rather than a dorm room.

35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0 SO M CI ED A IA L PO LET ST TE CA RS RD / O CA S N L A LM LA A N D D E LI N TE MO E LE B PH ILE O N E SM M S/ ES T SA EX G T E

We are all familiar with the concept of the traditional backpacker, the globetrotter who travels around on a tight budget. As the backpacker market continues to grow, there is a new trusted friend who, like the backpacker, seeks an authentic experience and travels with a backpack: the flashpacker.

Communication channels used daily


Rise of the flashpacker One of the major trends identified in our New Horizons report is the rise of the flashpacker.

Source: New Horizons III, 2013

Flashpackers also spend more on local tours and means of travel. Flashpackers for instance will opt out on a bus trip and take a short plane journey to reach their destination instead, although they might opt for more comfort, flashpackers still travel in true backpacker style.

Meaningful travel Many student travellers are undertaking trips in order to participate in educational exchange programmes such as the Erasmus programme, internships or to improve their language skills.

Total accommodation spending by travel style

Between 2007 and 2013, there was a steady growth in the number of young people indicating that they are travelling with a study or work motive, and a fall in those saying that they are on holiday. This may well be a result of the global economic crisis, which is causing many students to think about how they can improve their CV through travel.












The digital traveller Young travellers are also becoming increasingly technologically savvy, not only using travel as a tool to ‘discover’ themselves, but to say something about themselves to their social peers. It may even be that these travellers now think about an experience in terms of how they will share it with others. We know that almost 35% of youth travellers use social media daily to connect with their fellow travellers, plus friends and family at home. The availability of free WiFi at a destination is therefore essential to enabling communication between youth travellers and their peers. The use of social media on a daily base is not only to inform friends and family of their whereabouts. For many younger travellers, the experience becomes real when it is posted and viewed by someone else. The youth travel industry of the future will not only need to offer great experiences, but also provide platforms to help young people tell great stories about those experiences.


Source: Youth travel accommodation usage, 2013


90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0 H O











Purpose of trip in 2007 and 2013



€ 900 € 800 € 700 € 600 € 500 € 400 € 300 € 200 € 100 0

Source: WYSE Travel Confederation

What the future holds If predictions are correct, the industry is set to grow by nearly a third (29%) over the coming decade, with 280 million annual youth travellers expected by 2020 and 360 million by 2030. With this drastic growth, accommodation providers in emerging markets will have to catch up to meet the increase in demand, likewise developed markets need to be innovative. Young people view travel not just as a form of leisure but also as an essential part of their personal development, with the choice of where they stay playing an important part.



David CastaĂąo EstĂŠvez, Tilburg, The Netherlands

SPOTLIGHT ON BONNIE Bonnie • 24 years old • From Melbourne, Australia • BA in Arts and Laws, MA in International Relations • Student, Tutor, Administrative assistant • Lived in student accommodation when studying abroad

Bonnie is from Melbourne and now lives in a one bedroom flat in East Melbourne. She studied abroad in Utrecht, the Netherlands, which is where she had her first experience with student housing. During her undergraduate studies she continued to live with her mum and dad. Student Accommodation experience “When I studied at Utrecht University I lived with 7 others, and loved the community aspect! Living among other cultures allowed me to pick up on cultural habits and points of difference that I would not have been exposed to had I lived on my own. I loved having ‘family’ unit dinners, card nights, wine nights, etc.” Are you a Millennial? “Yes, in the sense that I think I am very open to change. I have both a strong desire to do well and the optimism that I will actually achieve this.“ What does the future hold for you? Next year Bonnie will be wrapping up her Masters, preparing for a month-long trip to New York and working on getting an internship for after her trip. “My biggest dream is to be working in a job which I love doing every day. I hope to be challenged and excited by the work I do, to be seen as an expert in my field and within walking distance of my inner-city home, so I can get home to my very cute kids at a reasonable hour and go for a run while it is still light!”

“I loved the community aspect of living with others and learning about their cultures” Bonnie, aged 24 23

FAMILY-STYLE LIVING Millennials are seeking more housing options when they go abroad. Some lesser-known forms of student housing are re-emerging as viable options for students seeking a real local experience. And families and homeowners using online platforms find it easier to connect to them, explains Susan Goldstein, advocate of the homestay model. Homestays are at the centre of radical and rapid change in the education travel accommodation industry as the trend towards a ‘share economy’ grows at an unprecedented rate. Educational travel has a long and time-honoured history of providing “homestays”; both as an accommodation option in addition to dorms, residences, hostels, hotels, or shared apartments; and as the ultimate cultural immersion vehicle. Sharing resources But what is new today is that a growing number of companies are disrupting traditional accommodation industry models by tapping into the trend toward shared use of resources, and online booking channels. Millennials are the ultimate drivers of both trends. They are already online, already part of multiple sharing platforms, already making their own decisions outside traditional models. They live online… search online…buy online. So no discussion of millennial student accommodation can avoid these models. How is this affecting the homestay markets as well as student accommodation across the board? Simple, increased demand meets scarcer supply….. There is already a severe shortage in affordable and quality student accommodation, particularly for international students as the growth in international education (and especially higher education) has outstripped the accommodation build.

of education providers, kept offline and below radar to protect supply chains, host families are discovering the power of online demand. Homestay providers, language schools, universities and internship companies, are experiencing increased competition for host families yes. But they do have a huge advantage. They already possess the proper regulation in terms of quality, standards and a strong network of providers and coordinators who recruit, vet and manage host families. This network and the best practices they have developed over time are at the core of assuring schools and providers an integral future role– if they embrace the change. Cultural immersion Similarly, destinations and institutions facing critical student housing shortages need to embrace the notion of homestays as a logical adjunct to their long term accommodation build solutions. As landing packages and as first year accommodation solutions, homestays offer maximum security and immersion, preparing students for other accommodation models in subsequent years. Indeed, homestays will be critical to both institutions and destinations as a tool to satisfy and most importantly retain immediate demand while allowing for build time. And while homestays have an immutable shelf life for individual students who inevitably move on to more autonomous or peer group housing solutions, they also constitute the first rung of a strategic progression of housing options. The real question going forward is not whether to embrace online sharing platforms – or whether to include and enhance homestays as part of any student housing portfolio; it is HOW to foster government and industry partner relationships with the pioneering technology now available in the share economy space to offer students and their host families, the transparency and accountability of quality and affordable homestay options that allow cities, states, and institutions to increase their capacity to attract and house growing numbers of students.

Never before has the demand for booking host families online been so high, as this accommodation sector moves into mainstream travel. There are over half a million searches for the word ‘homestay’ done online each month and this number is growing steadily as the trend towards booking all travel online gains traction among students - particularly millennials. Spare rooms At the same time, more and more homeowners around the world have been prompted to look for alternative income streams in light of the difficult economic climate in recent years: a way to convert dead assets. They are renting out their spare rooms via a myriad of online companies. Once the exclusive domain of youth and student travel, homestays are now also in demand among leisure travellers seeking authentic travel experiences. This changing landscape has opened host families up to a larger market for their homestay accommodation. Once the secret cache


Susan Goldstein

SPOTLIGHT ON MEIYING Meiying • 23 years old • From China, now living in downtown Milan with an Italian roommate • MA in International Management • Student • Lived in student housing in China and the Netherlands Student Accommodation experience During her Bachelor’s degree, Meying lived in a dorm that was provided by the university. “It was not spacious, but it was very cheap. Everybody lived in the dorms.” When Meying was an exchange student in Maastricht, she lived in a guest house, which was managed by the Maastricht University. “The best housing situation I have here in Milan. The location and the price are perfect, and so is my roommate, but we have to move out at the end of the semester.” Meying’s worst experience was being scammed while renting off-campus accommodation: “The place was really cramped and the landlady cheated me by making me sign a misleading contract with loopholes. I learned many lessons from that experience.” Are you a Millennial? “No. I don’t understand how people focus on the online world all day long. I don’t think that’s good. People should never forget their responsibilities for family and society, even if this seems boring sometimes. Old values have an internal value. You can be relaxed, but serious at the same time.” Future plans "I have three big dreams. To publish my own novel, to own a business selling Chinese tea, and to devote myself to feminism. I think I will be able to get out of life what I want. My philosophy on life is that people can achieve happiness as long as they have a humble attitude towards the world and are able to achieve a balance between the rational and sensitive mind."

“One should never forget the responsibility for family and society even if they sometimes seem boring” Meiying, aged 23 25



THE RISE OF MULTINATIONAL STUDENT HOUSING & HIGHER EDUCATION PLATFORMS In the last few years The Class of 2020 has witnessed a rapidly growing phenomenon: the rise of multinationals in the field of higher education and student housing. Universities such as Sorbonne, Ghent, and Stenden have branched out with new campuses abroad. Others have engaged in strategic partnerships with international education companies such as foundation year providers StudyGroup and Cambridge Education Group. And the students? They were already voting with their feet. Â

the European Union. For specialised operators with success in local markets this provides an opportunity to duplicate their model in other markets. In this section Wouter Onclin and Marcus Roberts discuss why this market opportunity coincides with the profound growth in investors’ appetite for student housing as an alternative asset. As portfolio investors they are used to investing in shopping malls and office parks in regions across Europe. And with globally active pension and investment funds seeking opportunities beyond the United Kingdom, the European student housing investor-operator model is set to grow in the coming years.

International student mobility Between 2000 and 2011 the number of international students in Europe increased by 114 per cent, with above-average growth in urban centers where English-language tuition is available. The movement of students between countries has become a global phenomenon. According to OECD data, the population of internationally mobile students more than doubled from 2.1 million in 2000 to 4.5 million in 2011. The total number of international students is set to rise to 8 million by 2020 globally. The Bologna process How did Europe became one higher education market? In 1999 Education Ministers from 29 European countries signed the Bologna Declaration. This milestone in the Bologna Process ensured comparability in the standards and quality of higher education qualifications. This important goal of the European integration process allowed European students to obtain an education of choice at the same price as local students. The impact of this agreement has begun to manifest itself.

The multinational university The agreement increased the pressure on the national higher education model developed with great success after the Second World War. Universities across the Union experienced budget constrains as state funding decreased. Attracting international students from outside the EU has proven to be a popular strategy. However, some universities have taken to the private sector to see how to compete in a European (or global if you will) higher education market. Maintaining a competitive advantage can be achieved by opening international programs across nations and/ or building international university groups. This multinational university will be the new reality, claims Maurits van Rooijen in the EAIE paper he contributed to this report. Cross-national student housing investors This rapid increase in student mobility is only exacerbating an already profound shortage of student accommodation throughout Photo by Jaime Serrano



Sahar Abdolvahab, D端sseldorf, Germany

THE RISE OF THE EUROPEAN INVESTOR: THE CHALLENGER VERSUS THE INCUMBENT Great. The main driver behind the rise of European student housing is a wall of money in search of yield. Critically, the engine room of this driver is exogenous to the industry. Government and monetary consensus in favor of very low interest rates. Is that a problem? In absolute terms, probably. In relative terms, not really. Think about it as the challenger versus the incumbent. The incumbent is that asset class which holds a strong market position. In real assets established sectors include offices, retail, residential. The challenger is the new kid on the block. Think about it as European student housing. The incumbent has several structural advantages: market position, track record, brand, specialised suppliers, stable capital sources. The challenger has none of that. But it can fight its way up. Turn opportunity driven capital into sticky money. Transform “bad capital” into “good capital”. This is the defining moment to do just that. I hold that “good capital” means to bring lasting scale to the quantitative and qualitative housing shortages in Europe through investing private capital to provide sufficient, decent, affordable and diversified student housing. This task has not been delivered upon effectively by the post WW2 Welfare State. Looking ahead 20 years, it is highly unlikely that remnants of that Welfare State will do any better. But how do we attract and retain more “good capital”? The Class of 2020’s raison d’être is to be the platform that attracts this leadership. It is already a great achievement to gather once a year for the annual conference from everywhere in Europe and beyond. To get to know each other and discuss a content based agenda, from a rich angle of expertise. Regularly, the newsletter informs us on what we are doing. But it would be a strategic mistake to stop here.

“The rise, or the rise and decline of the European investor is what is at stake”

There is a lot to do. Here are two suggestions: 1. Performance measurement Without transparency on portfolio and fund level performance, it is unlikely the sector will attract lasting institutional capital. And there is currently no transparent performance index on European student housing. The UK has the most mature index. But it is unsuited to be extrapolated to Europe. The UK is the most volatile market in Europe, student housing there has a high service/high rent/high yield characteristic, and there is no substitute product through PRS: the other side of Europe is quite different. The Class of 2020 can be the catalyst for market players -big and small, national and multi-country-, to share data and create a European index by 2017, if we start tomorrow. 2. Governance-Coverage-Working Groups Like so many times before, the Dutch have been at the forefront of entering and developing new European markets. But to make The Class of 2020 truly European, it has to diversify the cultural and professional background of its membership even more, and change its governance structure to reflect this at board and advisory levels. Moreover, Working Groups could be set up. Here membership would delegate key team members to participate on a voluntary basis in cross-national, cross disciplinary working groups to share their expertise and advance the industry on topics like performance measurement, operational excellence or training. The Class of 2020 should reflect the European market it aims to mirror. The challenger can do all of this, and plenty more. Or play the incumbent and be fooled by the current low interest rates and the lack of suitable investment product. The rise, or the rise and decline of the European investor is what is at stake.

Xavier Jongen


“There are more students studying at UK university campuses located outside the country, than there are international students in-country” This article has been edited from its original version, published on the website of the European Association for International Education (EAIE). The Class of 2020 hosted a breakfast session at the annual EAIE conference titled “Living & Learning: How Accommodation impacts the International Student Experience.”


THE MULTINATIONAL UNIVERSITY Anglosaxon universities are quickly building campuses around the world. Multinational Universities are set to dominate the future. Whilst the rest of the world is being ‘globalised’, higher education is still focusing on internationalisation. Of course the two are related, but the globalisation process is much more challenging or – as Maurits van Rooijen sees it – much more exciting. Commercialisation of higher education It is easy to understand why some see globalisation mainly as a threat to higher education. • No doubt quite soon the Laureate company will acquire its 100st higher education institution as part of its global network. • One government after the other withdraws taxpayers’ funding for non-nationals, telling foreign students to cover their own costs. • Well-known foreign institutions set up branches in other countries and many upset the status-quo of national systems by allowing institutions to offer their programmes in franchise. • E-learning is now being offered at a global scale and hence can through its economies of scale become highly competitive in terms of price/cost whilst being more convenient, especially for more mature students. Should we be afraid? Protectionism in higher education The Pavlov reaction to globalisation is protectionism. In higher education, that means making it difficult or even impossible for foreign institutions to enter a national system, whether virtually or physically, through de facto highly protective regulations. There are many examples of national protectionism in higher education, mostly implicit but also explicit. And interestingly, there are even examples where effectively state-sponsored institutions are discouraged to enter the globalised higher education arena, for instance the Dutch rule that students cannot get a Dutch degree unless they have done a substantial part of their study in the Netherlands. At one level, an understandable measure, yet at the same time totally out of touch with the realities of the globalising higher education sector. Private sector in higher education moves faster Globalisation in economic terms refers to moving goods and services across borders, moving consumers across borders or engaging with virtual movement of goods and services. The private sector has been faster in seeing the commercial opportunities of globalisation than institutions that operate with public funding and which are primarily tasked to serve the national systems of education. That is quite understandable.

Internationalisation for most institutions is primarily about quality enhancement (preparing students for employment in a globalised world, attracting best students, attracting best academic staff, etc). But in some countries of course, recruiting international students or delivering programmes abroad at a fee, whether as a franchise or through a full branch campus style development, has become a condition for financial as well as academic health. The key question is not whether education should be public or private or whether globalisation is good or bad, since these are questions that have been made irrelevant by reality. It is impossible to make higher education immune to the globalisation processes. One can only try to delay the inevitable through regulation or inertia, but that is a risky strategy. Like in every aspect of our modern society, we will create losers and winners, not just in regard to individual universities but even to entire national systems. In my view, it makes more sense to see globalisation as a real opportunity, worth engaging with sooner rather than later. The multinational university: more and more a reality Precisely a decade ago now Stephen Adam, David Jones and I wrote an EAIE Paper about the multinational university. We suggested that the world of higher education would create a new breed of higher education institutions. In the public sector these have emerged only slowly, though in the UK there are now more students on transnational programmes than international students in-country, which is quite revealing given its position as one of the global leaders in international student recruitment. I define a multinational university not so much as an institution with students or campuses in various countries (which is only one model), but as an institution fully engaged with the international markets, producing over 25% of revenue for international sources. In that definition now many multinational universities and higher education groups/companies do exist. I still stand by my prediction that multinational universities (and I should add: university groups) will dominate the future of high-profile high-quality provision in higher education. But globalisation in higher education is not just something for the future, it is something that already is quite prominently present and the question is how your university or college responds to it: with excitement or fear? Author: Maurits van Rooijen, CEO (academic) of Global University Systems BV, Rector and CEO London School of Business and Finance, acting Rector GISMA-Hannover Germany



Increasingly we see international funds and companies entering the European student housing market. Wouter Onclin spoke with Marcus Roberts about this phenomenon and about the question ‘what is all the money looking for?’ 2014 was the year where we saw investments and developments in student housing throughout Europe gain momentum. Transactions and developments filled our newsfeed every day. International Campus entered the Dutch market, MPC Capital partnered with Danish Sparinvest, The Student Hotel found a new investor in Perella Weinberg, Knightsbridge and Crosslane made acquisitions and announced developments in Spain, France and Germany. Bouwfonds raised capital for its European student housing fund. Student real estate is hot. Building up a portfolio “What we see in the continental European market now, is the emergence of a new real estate class”, says Marcus Roberts, Head of Student Investment & Development at Savills. Companies are securing a development pipeline and acquiring properties to build up scale. This scale is needed to make operational models work, “but that’s not all” says Roberts, “it’s also the first step in becoming a more mature market. Trading in assets requires scale, and that’s ultimately what the European investors are building: an asset class that grows to a scale where trading in properties and portfolios becomes a reality.” The student market in the UK has been ‘hot’ for at least 15 years now. “But it wasn’t until Round Hill bought Nido that large scale trading in portfolios started to happen. And it took until the failure of the Opal fund in 2013 for significantly sizeable portfolios to become available that were able to attract foreign capital on a large scale.” Yields make the deals Despite the continental market just being at the beginning of this process, yields that student property can achieve are attractive for its investors. Roberts: “Especially compared to current residential yields in many countries, student housing is a more attractive investment, which is why it now attracts a lot of capital.” Savills estimates yields in the European market to vary from 5.5% for prime property, to 8.5% for secondary locations. The Victus Student Housing fund that backs Crosslane’s developments, aims to get returns between 9-12%. In its recent deal with Dutch social housing provider DUWO, International Campus said it


expected yields to be around 6%. “It’s not a fortune, but we’re interested in stable long-term income”, commented Horst Lieder of International Campus. What’s your strategy? There are different types of investors that are diving into different corners of the pool of European student housing opportunity. Spain’s market leader RESA is one of the few European companies that is developing solely university backed developments, but it takes on more of the occupancy risk than their colleagues in the UK do. Most of the new European operators have a strategy of directly letting to their customers without university involvement. Bouwfonds and Crosslane have both set up dedicated single student housing funds for investments throughout Europe. Unite and Youniq are examples companies listed at the London and Frankfurt stock exchange. Operator-developer The Student Hotel recently announced its partnership with Perella Weinberg Real Estate for their new phase of expansion, while several investors such as Dubai-based Alcazar Capital support International Campus. Roberts: “A typical finance structure for a new student housing development still involves significant debt funding. We are seeing an average of about 60% loan to value. Some funds are gearing to lower their debt profile closer to 50% of their portfolio.” Building a brand Different setups lead to different strategies and priorities, but there seems to be a common theme. The European student housing investor is ambitious, building up a significant portfolio for economies of scale and operational models to work. Another parallel seems to be that strategies are truly international in order to spread risk and not be dependent on one country’s higher education policy. The industry is following the hotel market in a sense that operators are building up pan-European brands. UK enters the big boys' league In the meantime we can look at the UK to see where the market is headed. The UK’s student portfolios have now gotten to a scale where trading has become interesting for international institutional parties: “They were not interested, until portfolios of 3,000 – 4,000 units came on the market.” Roberts: “North American institutional investors are the dominant foreign force in the UK market, but we are also seeing capital from the Middle East flowing in, usually through Londonbased family offices, like Apache Capital and 90 North.”

Hein Huiting, Tilburg, The Netherlands


16,000 beds in five months An example of a US player that has become especially active in the maturing UK market is Greystar. This South Carolina-based property giant owns and manages 400,000 residential units in the US, 10% of which are student housing. In 2014, it quickly moved into the UK student housing sector, acquiring a portfolio of 16,000 beds in just five months, and more deals in the pipeline. In November, it announced its Prodigy Living brand under which the student portfolio in the UK will be operated. “The student housing market is coming into adulthood, and for Greystar this made it an attractive way to enter the UK,” said Nathan Goddard, Managing Director at Greystar Europe. Only a few years ago, the scale of these kinds of deals would not have been possible, but they are necessary for Greystar to operate in a way that works for their business model. “We are also very interested in the continental European market, but we will have to take a different approach there, developing and building up our own portfolio instead of making sizeable acquisitions,” Goddard added. Asian money, global industry In 2013, China’s Gingko Tree bought a stake in UPP’s portfolio, and in July 2014, Singapore-based REIT Centurion acquired four student properties in the UK. These moves mark the beginning of what is sure to be more Asian capital involvement in the student market.

“But these examples are not simply one-way flows of money” said Marcus Roberts, “it is the market becoming truly global. Students are moving all over the globe; universities are opening in places with increasing wealth, creating opportunities outside the traditional university hubs.” Student housing companies like GSA have leapfrogged Europe, now opening properties in Dubai and Australia, and with plans for Mumbai, Singapore and Tokyo. One market? Roberts: “Differences between countries in Europe are still significant, and developers really have to get familiar with the local culture before entering a market. But if you have a good team of lawyers and tax advisors, the borders in Europe don’t really present a problem.” So the rise of the European Student Housing investor is real. Some are investing in their home markets; others are pioneers from the UK and the US - developing portfolios in several European countries. The developers who are now active in Europe, all are working towards a truly international portfolio, starting in core European markets, but with markets like Poland and Italy eager to join the trend.

EVOLUTION OF THE STUDENT HOUSING MARKET JAPAN Universities in Japan generally provide dormitories for first year and international students. Despite dormitories being part of the corporate culture (e.g. Banks providing accommodation in the same building for some of their employees), most students live in privately owned rented apartments. Student housing is not yet an institutional investment class.

No purpose built student accommodation



While most students live at home, many others live in private rented accommodation and the universities themselves provide little if any purpose built units. Investment into the sector is scarce.


NETHERLANDS In the Netherlands, social housing provides many students with accommodation. Trading in student housing only began at scale at the end of 2011.

University owned student housing

GERMANY In Germany students often live in the private rented sector or in publically provided accommodation. Although a considerable amount of supply was brought to the market in 1990s in the form of publically funded dormitories. Little has been delivered since, despite increasing student numbers. Private and institutional investment is making inroads into the sector through real estate funds.

Global investment into student housing (deals greater than $7.5m) US $8,000 $7,000 $6,000 $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $0










Source: RCA

Photo by Jaime Serrano


AUSTRALIA On-campus university owned student accommodation is provided for some students studying in Australia. While some companies including Urban Nest and UniLodge specialise in providing student housing, it is parents who tend to be the investors. Institutional investors are limited.

In the UK, student housing has matured rapidly over the last decade. Much investment has been made into the sector, especially since the economic downturn, and as a result there are many opportunities to invest in this asset class.

MOST MATURE Privately owned purpose built accommodation

FRANCE In France, provision of student housing has improved in recent years, although many students live in privately rented accommodation. Investment has increased and the market has been trading well since the beginning of 2013, having emerged at scale in 2007.

Student housing reits

UNITED STATES The US student housing market is the most mature, with three major REITs and $2.6bn investment in the sector every year. Institutional investment began in 1996.

Source: Savills World Research


WHERE THE MONEY GOES The rise of the European student housing investor means that money is flowing across borders, across the Channel and even across oceans. Developers and investors from European markets are conquering each other’s territory. Experienced UK players are expanding onto the continent, and even global players like Australian CLV and US-based Greystar are looking for an entry into the European market, starting in the UK. Europe’s new student housing investors Home market







Direct let

Student Housing Fund





University backed & Direct let





Direct let

Australian Pension Funds Victus Student Housig Fund


Prime Student Living



Direct let

Goldman Sachs


Prodigy Living

GSA Group


Direct let

International Campus


Direct let



Direct let

Melon District


Direct let

Operator only


Melon District

Milestone Development


Direct let

Family owned





University backed & Direct let

Azora Capital

Latin America


Round Hill Capital


Direct let

Round Hill Capital



The Student Hotel UPP


Direct let

Perella Weinberg, Carlyle


The Student Hotel


University backed




Verweij Mungra Real Estate Xior Youniq

Institutional Investors, AUS, UK, IRL, JP, Urbanest, Uninest China and Middle East EU, CN, IN Alcazar Capital, NL The Fizz, DUWO Kapitalpartner The Student Oaktree Capital IRL, ES, FR Housing Company


Direct let



Student Experience


Direct let

Private Fund




Direct let











FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS Universities and student housing providers share at least one important factor: their customers. Students all have to live somewhere during their studies, but the way residential life and academic life are connected varies incredibly throughout the world. Many countries in Europe take an especially lax approach when it comes to accommodating their students. Wouter Onclin spoke with Carlos Cano and Sam Bailey Watts about ways for the private student housing market to partner with universities. Student accommodation is scarce in many of Europe’s leading university cities. University websites are full of warnings about housing scams and tell students to start looking for a place to live early on. But that’s not exactly an easy task when you’re reading this in your bedroom in China and want to move to Stockholm. The marketing value of an ‘experience’ One of the answers to this problem might be not to go to Stockholm. Just like what has happened in the hotel industry, peer to peer sharing of experiences is growing quickly in the education industry, and a bad experience with housing resonates heavily. This means universities need to be involved in solving housing problems for their students in order to offer them an experience they would recommend. Partnerships between universities and housing providers are a way for universities to provide students with more opportunities in the student housing market, while at the same time helping housing providers make their business more easily feasible. At the heart of the business “Partnerships with universities are at the heart of our business model”, says Carlos Cano, CCO of RESA, Spain’s largest student housing provider. “Partnerships allow us to be marketed by universities as their official housing solution, which sends a message of security and trust to both the parents and the students.” RESA’s typical deal with a university involves land. The company builds on land that is owned by the partner university. “The university lets us use their land while we build the halls of residence for their students.”


Special Purpose Vehicle In the UK, UPP is the leading provider of on-campus housing. UPP’s strategy is based on long-term partnerships with universities for providing housing and non-residential infrastructure. UPP’s residences are not branded, but are presented as if the university owns them. “We help our partners to improve the quality of their estate and service levels, which in turn helps them to attract students in an increasingly competitive environment” says Sam Bailey-Watts, Managing Director Partnerships at UPP. “The arrangements that we make are bespoke to each partner, but a typical structure is based on the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). As a company in its own right, the SPV holds the debt raised for the asset, which allows for the transaction to be accounted for on an off balance sheet basis.” Explains Bailey-Watts. “Universities typically also generate an income from our transactions – resources they can invest in areas they find important such as teaching and research.” Universities ask for affordable rents Affordable student rents are the most important point of negotiation for universities entering these partnerships. RESA gives students of partner universities a discount on their rent, or provides them with extra services, such as cleaning or full board. “In recent years, universities are beginning to see housing not only as a service to their students, but also as a source of income. Traditionally universities would let us use their land for free, but some have started to introduce annual lease fees on land deals,” said Cano. “But as this impacts our business model, it will eventually have its effect on student rents.”

Carlos Cano Chief Commercial Officer at RESA RESA • Market leader in Spain • 8,000 beds in 32 residence halls • Private owner and investor (Azora Capital) • Considers moving into Latin American markets

Contributing to student success Besides providing students with residential infrastructure, another reason for universities to engage in housing partnerships is the impact residence life can have on academic success. Research performed in the US consistently shows a clear correlation between the way students live and their success, both academically and socially. Bailey-Watts: “Academic infrastructure is becoming a more important part of our transactions. Our residences will have a pastoral care team resident on site, allowing the university to roll out student experience initiatives in a residential setting, and UPP will enhance these programmes with our own range of activities.” Cano: “We agree with universities on the type of social activities that we develop in our residence halls to promote a sense of community between residents.”

The international context might be challenging, but with an increasing pressure on universities to provide their students with a place to live as part of their ‘marketing package’; the opportunities there are to improve student experiences and performance with residence life programs; and the reduced development and operating risks that university partnerships present to housing providers, we are confident we will be hearing more about this theme in the coming years.


Attractive investments The deals that UPP and RESA make with universities have a clear impact on their risk profile for investors. RESA’s brand features prominently on Spanish university websites, making booking a room just a click away from checking out your new university. As an on-campus housing provider, UPP’s occupancy rates are in excess of 99%, creating stable long-term returns.

Shared marketing. Housing provider

RESA is part of AZORA, an investment management company, managing over €3bn in assets. “The universities almost never get involved in the investment. Our role is to allow them to concentrate on their core business, education.”

a particular housing provider (exclusivity optional) – a lower rate or fee per contract may negotiated. The vacancy risk remains with the housing provider. No guarantee for students.

UPP utilises a structured finance approach with tranches of senior and subordinated debt and equity. Bailey-Watts: “Senior debt was traditionally bank debt, however, UPP has worked hard over the last three years to bring institutional investment into the Higher Education market. The appetite from Banks still remains, however, tranche sizes, debt tenor and pricing have made it less attractive.” Taking partnerships out of the comfort zone Both UPP and RESA are considering international expansion strategies. But despite the rapid internationalization in the academic world, university systems are still very much determined by local factors. Canos “It’s challenging to translate our model to other countries, especially with regard to the kind of partnership we have with universities.”

partnerships with universities gives the housing provider credibility (trust) and exposes students to this specific provider.

Referrals. The university actively refers students to

Rental agreements. The university reserves

a fixed number of rooms at a prescribed time during the academic year and can guarantee the availability of rooms. The university takes on the vacancy risk. Rooms may be offered under market price.

Nomination agreements. A long or shortterm agreement where universities guarantee occupancy rates for a specified number of years. Often these will have five or ten-year break clauses.

Packaging. Package education and housing together as a single offer and product to students. For instance, where all students in one program live together at the same property.

Land lease agreements. Private developers Sam Bailey Watts Managing Director, Partnerships at UPP UPP: • 29,000 beds at 13 universities • Fund with private investors: over £1.4bn invested in last 10 years • Ambition to add 12,000 beds in the next three years • Considers expansion into continental Europe

are granted a lease on university land to develop and operate a new property, usually paired with nomination agreements and reduced rents.

Development agreements. The university and housing developer work together to develop and operate housing. The developer is responsible for the investment, development and construction – the university may operate and/or market it as if it were their own. The university is a contract partner and may be a shareholder in a joint venture.

Stock transfer arrangements. The

university transfers old campus housing to a private party, including responsibility to maintain and operate housing.


THE POWER OF RANKINGS A 2014 Hobsons survey among 14,000 international students found that overall university ranking and subject ranking are the two most important factors in affecting the decisions of international students about where and what to study. This map shows the location of European universities in the Top 200 of the Times Higher Education ranking of October 2014, and the Top 50 Business Schools according to the Financial Times. The distribution on the European continent shows clear concentrations of highly rated universities, especially in the UK, the Low Countries and major urban areas like Paris, Stockholm and – perhaps a bit more surprising - Istanbul. There are many critics of these lists, but they communicate a very powerful message. The Netherlands comes up as one of the knowledge hotspots according to this map, yet newspapers in the Netherlands the next morning headlined “Netherlands loses position to Germany”, making the central message that Germany took the global third place from the Netherlands with 12 universities in the top 200 (number one and two being the US and the UK).


61 78 180 103 120 5

178 111 94




1 31


1 57

52 43

1 48 25



165 7


199 23 9

1 54


121 17 1



1 46





22 34 196

40 118 3

41 49

132 111


Visit www.classof2020.eu/topuniversities to see which universities correspond with the numbers.


186 126 98 98 44


160 121



117 64 77 71 79 136 140 39 72 73 90 170 144 55 171


European universities and their rank in the global Times Higher Education top 200

80 81 67

European Business schools and their rank in the Financial Times top 50 MBA programmes



156 195 70


165 113

163 75 132

34 107 136

98 29

13 103



160 178




139 182 85


HOW CITIES COMPETE FOR TALENT What makes a student city attractive to invest in? Investors often look for cities with lots of international students and thriving regional economies. As cities are competing with each other, they are adopting strategies to stimulate both.

with the academic institutions, a position currently held by Austrian political veteran Alexander Van der Bellen. On his website, Van der Bellen states his mission: “In the coming decades Vienna will become the intellectual capital of Europe.” This bold statement is supported by policy that is geared especially to attract research professionals and research investments to the city. The city has for instance invested in an International Postdoc Programme that stimulates researchers to develop their own research groups. Fellowship grants enable international researchers to spend a few months at Viennese research organisations. The city helps financing summer schools to attract international students and PhD students.

Human capital is the most powerful engine for economic growth. Attracting brainpower starts with recruiting talent at an age when they are free and eager to move. Cities are increasingly aware of their competitive environment in the battle for talent, competing with each other on an international level. To come out on top, cities are adopting strategies to attract the brightest minds.

Growing student numbers In the wake of these strategies for attracting R&D activities, there has been a remarkable influx of international students looking for academic and life opportunities. StudentMarketing estimated the number of international students in Vienna in 2012 to be over 37,000 – 24% of the total student population. If Vienna were to continue its development of the last few years, the number of international students is set to grow to over 55,000 in 2020 – 34% of all students.

Economist Edward Glaeser put it this way: “The Strength that comes from human collaboration is the central truth behind civilization’s success and the primary reason cities exist.” A concentration of knowledge and creativity leads to good things and successful cities. Brain competition strategies With this realisation, public administrations around Europe are adopting “Brain Competition Strategies” (Meyer, 2012). Traditionally, attracting international students and staff is seen as a responsibility of the universities, but where academic policy and economic developments meet, cities need to get involved to make sure they create a big talent pool for their regional economy.

The City of Munich’s report “City of Knowledge” also identifies the attraction of talent and increasing retention rates as strategically important, but where Vienna is putting its money where its mouth is, Munich has not introduced any specific instruments to support this. In 2012, the city of Munich stated, “Active innovation policy is not a task of the urban municipality,” leaving it up to the State and Federal governments.

International students do not only contribute to an attractive economic climate in the city, they are also active citizens that make a direct impact to the local economy. International students need a place to live, go out to meet new friends, and stimulate local tourism as they discover their new country, often together with friends and family that come for a visit.

Intellectual capital of Europe 5% 5% In 2007 Vienna issued a research, technology and development 2000 2001 strategy, which explicitly states the aim to increase “the locational attractiveness for academic talent.” The city introduced a City Commissioner for University and Research that works together

% Change 2005 - 2011

% Change 2005 - 2011Inter

% Change 2005 - 2011Inter

% Change 2005 - 2011Inter

(8340) In a 2012 research paper, the Joanneum Research Institute in 15% 15% Austria made a comparison of strategies adopted by the cities of (17483) Vienna and Munich. 10%





Research by The Class of 2020 in cooperation with StudentMarketing indicates each additional international student 30% 30% leads to: • € 10,370 annual spending in the local economy 25% 25% • 0.289 extra jobs • € 50,000 investment in extra student accommodation. 20% 20%


Share of international students and professors in Vienna and Munich














(8340) (51)





(67) (59)



2000 2002




5% 2001 2000 2002 2001 2003 2002 2004 2003 2005 2004 2006 2005 2007 2006 2008 2007 2009 2008 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009



International students (Vienna)

International professors (University of Vienna)

International students (Munich)

International professors (University of Munich)

Source: Susanne Meyer, Christian Reiner, 2012

The performance of Munich and Vienna in the competition for human capital shows that both cities benefit from net-inflows from internationals. The share has traditionally been somewhat higher in Munich, but the growth rate of international talent was much faster in Vienna. Whether the brain competition policies have directly influenced student flows is difficult to determine as so many factors are involved in a student’s decision to choose a place to study. But an important question to ask is what would have happened if Vienna would did not have adopted its internationalisation strategies? Would they have performed as well? From attracting to keeping In many cities throughout Europe there is a lot of room for improvement to increase their competitiveness in the market

for talent. And as policy gets more sophisticated, the attention broadens from attracting talent to retaining talent. Integration with local culture is an important factor for international students to feel at home. Student accommodation can play an important role in this. Creating employment opportunities is another important retention strategy. International student internships and taking away visa obstacles are important themes here. Who will be the winners? As Europe’s student community continues to become more international, we will be seeing some cities that become true magnets of young talent. Other places will find it harder to attract and keep the best and brightest. These developments will also shape where student housing developers will be most likely to take their investments.

EUROPE’S INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CITIES As Europe’s population is ageing, our most successful cities will become increasingly dependent on attracting foreign talent to support economic development. The OECD predicts that the number of international students will grow to 8 million in 2020, with nearly half this number studying in Europe. But where will they go? This map shows international student numbers for some key European cities. Growth of the past years is extrapolated to predict the number and share of international students in 2020.

DUBLIN 10.803 - 12.576


COPENHAGEN 20.371 - 21.131

31% number of international students in 2013


estimated % of international students in 2020

LONDON 103.000 - 126.182


8% 6.750 - 8.573 34%


number of international students in 2020

BRUSSELS 10.047 - 13.743

PARIS 67.279 - 72.884

MADRID 47.359 - 73.793


34% ZÜRICH 11.248 - 16.582

20% BERLIN 21.784 - 25.792

34% VIENNA 35.814 - 54.555

17% 17%

BARCELONA 21.636 - 33.712

Source: StudentMarketing, 2014 Note: data includes most, but not all universities and colleges; as publicly available


INVESTOR UPDATES: EUROPE'S KEY STUDENT HOUSING MARKETS Student housing is making the grade, says Judi Seebus of PropertyEU. 2014 was the year in which we saw increasing activity among Europe’s student housing investors. The sector is going full speed ahead in the UK where the market is reaching a more mature state with transactions of large portfolios by international investors. Continental Europe is still in its infancy in comparison, but the development of portfolios by European student housing investors is speeding up as well. In this section, we explore what is going on in the markets. From international acquisitions in Spain to immigration issues in Switzerland.


STUDENT HOUSING MAKES THE GRADE One of the panel discussions on the conference programme at the inaugural MIPIM UK real estate fair held at Olympia in London in mid-October carried the title: ‘Student housing: is it really “alternative” anymore?’ The Bologna Declaration standardised many programmes, and The rhetorical phrasing of the question is an indication of how far the sector has progressed as an asset class in recent years. In the UK, student accommodation continues to be one of the most robust investment sectors, with rental incomes and property values either remaining stable or increasing. While it will never rival offices, retail or logistics in terms of its overall share of the European property pie, it is becoming increasingly attractive as a niche sector and global institutional investors are making moves to include it in their real estate portfolios.

Dutch operator Stichting Duwo. In fact, the Netherlands alongside Germany is leading the way on the Continent and a specialist vehicle has now also appeared in this country. In July, Dutch fund manager Bouwfonds Investment Management raised new commitments of €110 mln for the Bouwfonds European Student Housing Fund. Another big Dutch asset manager Syntrus Achmea is likewise seeking investors for its student accommodation schemes after building a portfolio of 1,200 student beds, with a pipeline of 4,000 more. Clearly, student housing is making the grade. Judi Seebus Editor in chief PropertyEU

Emergence of a listed sector The UK market remains the benchmark for privately owned, purpose-built student accommodation in Europe and in the past 18 months the market has seen the arrival of two newcomers in the listed sector - GCP Student Living and Empiric Student Property REIT. Their flotations mark a new phase in the development of the sector which until recently was dominated by Bristol-based Unite Students. The emergence of a listed sector for student accommodation is auspicious but the private equity sector has witnessed even stronger growth as developer-operators harness the financial resources of big institutional investors. Cross-border investments In August, US asset management giant BlackRock acquired a student accommodation scheme in the UK city of Exeter from Moorfield Real Estate Fund II (MREFII) for £40 mln (€50 mln) for its UK Property Fund, bringing its expenditure on student accommodation in the last 12 months to more than £100 mln. Meanwhile, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has backed a £90 mln (€112 mln) whole loan facility for UK student accommodation provider Urbanest while CBRE Global Multi Manager (GMM) has also targeted student housing in the UK via a vehicle with Curlew Capital. Cross-border ventures and partnerships are also sprouting in Continental Europe. Earlier this year UK privately owned multifamily office LJ Group committed a total of €100 mln of equity to Cresco Capital Group’s German student housing venture, Cresco Urban Yurt. And in the Netherlands, German student housing specialist International Campus is injecting €150 mln into a portfolio of five buildings as part of a joint venture with

Judi Seebus



increasing the number of international students to 350,000 by 2020, they should also work together to provide these students with the necessary social infrastructure.”

COUNTRY STATS Student population: 2,500,000 %International: 11% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £0(€0)**Bawarian universities charge

tuttion fees at €1,000 per annum

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

China (11%) Turkey (6%) Russia (6%)

Georg-August-Universitat, Göttingen

(% of international students)

Average weekly rent in student accommodation: £48 (€57)

(Times World Rankings) Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Munich Universitat Heideberg

National student housing provision rate (11%)

Source: Savills World Research

Tuition fees have been scrapped, student grants increased, international student numbers are on the rise. Germany remains an extremely underserved student housing market. The land of free degrees With the global discussion on rising tuition fees gaining momentum, Germany seems to be taking a different approach. In September, the state of Niedersachsen was the last to scrap tuition fees altogether, making higher education tuition fees a thing of the past in Europe’s largest student market. Earlier in the year, study grants were universally raised, terms for student loans were relaxed, and pleas were made for multi-billion public investment in student housing. German Universities are steadily rising in the global rankings. In 2014, Germany surpassed the Netherlands and is now the third country in terms of total number of universities in the Times Higher Education top 200. The number of programmes taught in English is growing quickly as well, making Germany an increasingly attractive and good-value study destination for students from other European countries, and all over the world. The private student housing market is gaining momentum with notoriously low student housing provision rates, increasing housing shortages, especially in Berlin and the large cities in the West. Savills research estimates the total shortage of student rooms at 100,000 and German developer GBI published a ranking of tension in the accommodation market in student cities. According to this research Munich is the city where it is hardest for students to find a place to live. Deutsches Studentenwerk calls for €2.7bn investment in student housing At the December annual meeting of the semi-public German Studentenwerk (DSW) - responsible for providing students with social infrastructure such as university cafeteria’s, child care, and also with housing - the organisation made a plea for the construction of an additional 45,000 student housing units by 2017. This would require an investment of about €2.7bn, €1.44bn of which – according to DSW – should be picked up by the state and federal governments. “We have never had so many students in Germany as we do today” said Dieter Timmermans, DSW Director, “And now the state and federal governments have set out a strategy for


Up to now, only the Berlin state senate has announced more support for student accommodation and committed to the construction of 5,000 new units. This promise has appeared a hard one to turn into reality as no additional construction plans have been announced yet. MPC Capital enters student housing JV with Danish Sparinvest MPC Capital has set up a joint venture with Danish property investor Sparinvest for developing multiple student housing facilities in Germany. After the MPC Deutschland 11 retail fund launched in 2011, which invested in four student housing facilities run by a third-party operator, the Hamburg-based investment and asset manager MPC Capital is now establishing its own development and operating platform. The joint venture will invest in properties at various attractive university locations in Germany. The property specialists from MPC Capital will handle the project development and management themselves. Rainer Nonnengässer is heading the platform. "Our concept is built on convenient, efficient and affordable living space - and therefore satisfies the requirement structure for broad student groups," explained Nonnengässer. LJ Group and Cresco Capital commit €100 million to German student housing platform LJ Group has committed a total of €100 million of equity to Cresco Capital Group's German student housing venture, Cresco Urban Yurt, a student housing investment, development and operations platform to deliver managed student housing in leading German university cities. The new student housing venture is led by Alexander Bürk, founder of the Cresco Capital Group and Daniel Schuldig, a former senior Private Equity Executive with extensive real estate investment experience. Daniel Schuldig said: "We are building a best-in-class student housing platform delivering attractive dividend yields and strong downside protection for our investors. We have an attractive deal pipeline in place and aim for market leadership." The partnership has made its first acquisition, a landmark building on Frankfurter Tor in Berlin and will invest in excess of €60 million in the development. Plans are to redevelop it into around 552 apartments, including ground floor and basement retail units. Crosslane introduces Prime Studentenwohnen Crosslane continues its expansion in the European marketplace and introduced its brand Prime Studentenwohnen in Germany earlier this year. The UK-based fund acquired two properties – in Oldenburg and Osnabrück, both named Herman Ehlers Haus – with a combined total of 433 beds. In 2013, Crosslane set up a JV with German Bauer Capital and started the Victus European Student Accommodation Fund, with a target to acquire and develop 3,000 – 5,000 beds in the German market.

Housing situation of in Germany Housing situation ofstudents students in Germany 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Developer GBI opened its third and fourth location of their Smartment brand in Darmstadt and Cologne. Further projects are being realised in Mainz, Frankfurt (M), Hamburg and Munich.

Living alone (1953) 0% - (2012) 37% Sublet (1953) 58% - (2012) 1%

Market tension ranking

Shared flat (1953) 0% - (2012) 29% Student accommodation (1953) 8% - (2012) 10%

Parents (1953) 31% - (2012) 23%







Source: GBI AG Research & Analysis, data from DSW 1953 - 2012

Bouwfonds IM acquires properties in Dresden and Aachen In July, Bouwfonds IM announced it had raised €110 million for its European Student Housing Fund. In Germany, the fund acquired a property of approx. 9,300 m2. in Dresden, where the university enjoys “elite status”. The building will be completed in autumn 2014. On completion, the property will consist of 336 apartments with separate kitchens and bathrooms and floor space ranging from 19 to 33 m2. All units can be reached by lift and the property will provide space for 66 cars. The total investment volume amounts to €22.3 million. Bouwfonds European Residential fund bought two additional student properties. In Aachen, it invested €10.4 million in a building of 221 apartments. A second property in Dresden saw an investment of €12 million and consists of 144 apartments, intended for the student market. New locations for The Fizz and Smartments International Campus continues to expand its presence in the German market with new locations for their The Fizz brand. In 2014, The Fizz opened in Berlin and Freiburg, and developments are underway for properties in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Hamburg and Hanover.


Median Tension rents in shared score flat



1 2

München Hamburg

79 73

€490 €400

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Frankfurt Köln Stuttgart Berlin Heidelberg Konstanz Freiburg

70 70 63 62 60 58 58

€414 €365 €375 €350 €358 €370 €350

10 Darmstadt



11 Karlsruhe 12 Tübingen 13 Münster 14 Düsseldorf 15 Mainz

54 52 51 49 49

€320 €340 €310 €366 €333

Source: GBI AG Research & Analysis

Project by Holzer Kobler Architekturen


The Student Hotel The Hague • 309 rooms • Rooms from 16 m2 – 22 m2 • Private bathrooms • Shared and private kitchens • Total floor area 12,000 m2 • Total development cost ca. €25 million • Courtyard with basketball court • Private gym • Lounge and game room • Laundry • On-site restaurant


THE NETHERLANDS COUNTRY STATS Student population: 670,000 %International: 10% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £1500 (€1800)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Germany (62%) China (7%) Belgium (4%)

Leiden University Utrecht University Wageningen University

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £85 (€100)


Source: Savills World Research

Student housing is becoming hot. New private direct-let schemes are under development throughout the country, while other investors are partnering up with local non-profit operators to enter this heavily regulated market. Student loans to pay the rent After months of negotiation, new legislation was sent to parliament in September, proposing to scrap the Dutch system of universal student grants, replacing it with a system of student loans. From the start of the 2015 school year, students will no longer receive their ‘basic grant’. The money saved is to be invested in improving the quality of Higher Education. The effect this will have on students is widely debated. National social student housing organisation Kences estimates that fewer students will be able to afford to move out of their parents’ home. According to their own research the number of students that live in student housing may fall by as many as 13,000. At the same time Kences’ largest member organisation and national market leader DUWO estimated that Amsterdam alone needs an additional 16,000 student housing units in the next 6 years. Research by Savills published in the summer of 2014 estimates that 70,000 extra units would be needed in the country by 2025. In the meantime, private investment in Dutch student housing is continuing its rapid development, with projects underway in various student cities by The Student Hotel, The Student Experience, Bouwfonds, International Campus, Xior and many of the social student housing companies, sometimes in partnership with private investors. Conversion from office to student residences remains an important theme in the market. International Campus invests €150 million in Dutch student housing German student housing specialist International Campus is to invest €150 million in a portfolio of five buildings in the Netherlands as part of a joint venture with leading Dutch operator the DUWO foundation. The five buildings, of which four will be developed in Amsterdam, will contain a total of 2,250 student apartments and be incorporated into a Luxembourg-based fund focusing on investments in the Netherlands. The company will not use

its German The Fizz brand, but rather let DUWO manage and operate the properties. For International Campus, the deal marks its first foray outside Germany. Horst Lieder, the company’s CEO, commented: “With this cooperation, International Campus will embark on its first international activity as an investor and developer. This joint venture is an important milestone in the process of focusing the attention of institutional investors on the asset class of student accommodation.” He added: “The Netherlands is a very attractive market. The demand for small living spaces will remain high in the long term in a large number of cities.” Under the alliance, International Campus will act as investor and co-developer of the student apartments, while DUWO will be in charge of their subsequent operational management. The two companies also plan to cooperate in the area of studios for young professionals and postgraduates. International Campus’ involvement in the venture will be managed by Wouter van den Eijnden who will assume the role of managing partner of IC Netherlands, a subsidiary of International Campus. Jan Benschop, CEO of the DUWO foundation, said the partnership with International Campus will enable it to build new living space for students. “DUWO’s aim is to create good and affordable housing for students. If we don’t act now, there will be a shortage of 28,000 student apartments in the Netherlands by 2020. That is why we are happy about the cooperation with International Campus.” According to Benschop, the apartments will cost around €395 a month to rent. This will translate into a yield of no more than 6% for International Campus. “True, it’s not a fortune, but we’re interested in stable, long-term income,” he said. (Source: Property EU)

The Student Hotel continues European growth with new investor Perella Weinberg Real Estate The Student Hotel continued its expansion in 2014 by opening a new property in The Hague and doubling capacity at their Rotterdam location, both in time for the start of the 2014 fall semester. In October, the company announced a new partnership with Perella Weinberg Real Estate which is taking a majority stake in the Amsterdam-based developer-operator. With this new capital injection, the company will continue to work on the development of 2,400 new rooms in the Netherlands and on its plans for expanding into other European markets. Charlie McGregor, founder and CEO of The Student Hotel: “We are thrilled about our partnership with Perella Weinberg Real Estate. The movement of students between countries has become a global phenomenon. The growing number of international students deserves better and more accommodation options, no matter where they go in Europe, and it’s great to work with an investment partner that shares our vision to roll-out high quality and community-driven student and hotel accommodation across Europe.”


will be constructed next to The Hague’s Hollands Spoor train station. It is Bouwfonds’ residential real estate fund’s first project in The Hague.

Vincent Rouget, managing director at Perella Weinberg Real Estate UK LLP: “We are truly excited about our partnership with The Student Hotel and its management team. We believe it is one of the most exciting concepts in student accommodation today. The unique design and hybrid business model of The Student Hotel makes it well suited to cater to those that seek short and long-term study and training opportunities at home and abroad, and we aim at supporting future growth of this successful concept in the Netherlands as well as in other European markets.”

Modular construction taken to new heights Amsterdam’s largest student residence campus, Uilenstede, was expanded by additional 709 rooms built by Ursem Modular Building Solutions. With 11 floors, it is the tallest building built with modular construction techniques in the Netherlands. “This project proves, modular wins from traditional buildings” said Rob Ursem at the opening of the first 250 units. The project is developed and operated by DUWO.

Ravel Residence construction kicked off Student Experience has started construction of their first property - Ravel Residence - a modular built structure near Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district. The property will have 800 studios of 21m2 with private kitchens and bathrooms. Base rents are €495 per month, with €90 extra for a furnished room, and €120 in monthly service charges. The property will open its doors in the winter of 2015. The company will soon start construction of its second property (AmstelHome) and is working on a variety of future projects.

SSH and DUWO lead in construction of social sector student accommodation Utrecht-based SSH and Delft-based DUWO lead the way in construction by social student housing corporations. In 2014, SSH opened “De Sterren”, a 750-unit complex in a former provincial government building in Utrecht. SSH also kicked off a 655-unit project in Utrecht’s science park, and announced it will be managing a student portfolio in the city of Groningen for the city’s international students.

Bouwfonds transforms vacant office building into student housing In April 2014, Bouwfonds announced its acquisition of a vacant office building in Amsterdam’s Buitenveldert neighbourhood. The property is being redeveloped into rental studios for students. Studio sizes vary from 20-31m2 and are equipped with private kitchens and bathrooms. The property will be let under the brand Amsterdam2Stay.

DUWO announced plans for 500 rooms in Delft and opened a new 605-room, energy-efficient complex in Amsterdam’s Science Park. The company is increasingly managing and operating student accommodation for private investors. In October, it opened Feniks in Amsterdam, which it manages for Bouwinvest. Woonstad to take over Vestia Rotterdam Stadswonen portfolio In Rotterdam, troubled social housing corporation Vestia announced it is selling its 6000 room Stadswonen student portfolio to Woonstad, the city’s largest social housing owner. Vestia will use the revenues to improve its financial position.

Earlier in the year, Bouwfonds Investment Management and the City of The Hague signed an agreement for the development of 303 student rooms and 153 apartments for first-time renters. The total investment is €54 million, and the 75 meter-high building

Monthly rent of student rooms in selected cities

< €250

€250 - €350

€350 - €450

> €450










Source: Savills World Research - Data from Kamernet.nl




Urbanest Sydney City Central • 430 rooms, 665 beds • Rooms from 13.5 m2 to 21 m2 • Total floor area 12,710 m2 • Total development cost AU$85 million (ca. €59 million) • Gymnasium • Games Room • Private study rooms • Courtyard with BBQ • Games area • Bike parking


FRANCE COUNTRY STATS Student population: 2,300,000

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Morocco (11%) China (10%) Algeria (8%)

Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris

(% of international students)

%International: 12% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £150(€180)

(Times World Rankings) Ecole Polytechnique, Paris Universite Pierre et Marie Cure, Paris

Average weekly rent in student accommodation: £73 (€86)

National student housing provision rate (11%)

Source: Savills World Research

After years of growth, we are now seeing rents fall in many French cities. However, with projects by Bouwfonds, Crosslane, Melon District and Knightsbridge, the French market is attracting attention from international investors. Rents falling in many of France’s student cities In many French cities, student-housing rents dropped for the first time since 2008 when location-etudiant.fr started its annual publication of rent figures. After years of rapid rent increases, 2013-2014 saw a drop in rents for 13 out of 20 cities in the French provinces. Rents in Paris are still on the rise, but the rate of growth is slowing down as well. The city with the largest average price drop was Toulouse with a decrease of over 15% for a student studio. The dearest rooms are in Paris, the Paris region, Nice, Aix-en-Provence and Annecy. The five most affordable locations to rent a room are Agen, Poitiers, Nantes, Rouen and Le Havre. Average rents for studios in France's major cities


% change




1 Paris 2 Aix en Provence 3 Nice 4 Annecy 5 Lyon 6 Lille 7 Marseille 8 Strasbourg 9 Montpellier 10 Bordeaux 11 Toulouse

€744 €528 €526 €515 €486 €464 €457 €451 €450 €443

0,54% -0,56% -10,39% 1,58% -2,61% -4,13% -10,39% 2,97% -0,44% 0,68%

-1,97% 1,27% 1,02% 0,63% 1,43%


12 13 14 15

Toulon Grenoble Rennes Reims

€435 €426 €420 €402 €400

€740 €531 €587 €507 €499 €484 €510 €438 €452 €440 €501 €441 €437 €421 €414

16 17 18 19 20

Le Havre Rouen Nantes Poitiers Agen

€398 €398 €395 €321 €283

€406 €393 €391 €319 €279

Source: location-etudiant.fr, 2014

-13,17% -3,40% -3,89% -4,51% -3,38%

France liberalises visa regulations: less paperwork, more post-study work options In pursuit of an ambitious target for boosting international enrolment, the government of President François Hollande has recently taken steps to make France a more attractive destination for foreign students. A new “Talent Passport” (a Compétence et talent permit) has been introduced to “facilitate the entry into France of foreigners who are likely to contribute in a significant and sustained way to the economic development or intellectual, scientific, cultural, humanitarian, or athletic advancement of France or their country of origin.“ This new permit will allow as many as 10,000 foreign graduates – particularly researchers and highly skilled workers – to remain in France to work for up to four years following their studies. Alongside the new talent permit, graduates from the European Union may continue to work in France without restrictions. Students from outside the EU who have earned a master’s degree or equivalent during their studies in France may also stay to work for up to a year after graduation. French government promises 43,000 new student housing units by 2017 In July, Geneviève Fioraso, State Secretary for Higher Education, confirmed plans made by the Hollande government that 43,000 new student housing units were to be delivered by 2017. Over 19,000 are planned in the Paris region, with Lyon being the second recipient of this program with over 5,000 units. CROUS, the regional public body administering social infrastructure for students, including residence halls, will manage 30,000 of the units. The remaining rooms will fall in the social housing category. Fioraso said that the program’s goal is to take some of the pressure off the student housing market, and bring rents down, also in the private sector. Subsidies for these housing programmes are invested through regional governments. L’Ille de France (Paris region) has invested €95 million in 12,000 student accommodation units from 2010 – 2014. In 2014, it had a program to invest an additional €25 million. Viveris REIM / Swiss Life REIM buys French student housing units for €42 million In December 2013, French asset manager Viveris REIM acquired four student housing development projects for a total of €42 million on behalf of one of its OPCI investment vehicles. Two of the assets are located in the Paris suburb of Ivry-sur-Seine and Massy-Palaiseau while the remaining two are located in the 7th district of Lyon and in the Vélodrome district of Marseille. Viveris said the properties are all pre-let on nine-year leases to a specialist operator. More than three years after Swiss Life’s acquisition of a majority stake in its capital, Viveris REIM changed its company name to Swiss Life REIM (France) as of 2 June 2014. Acquisition in Bordeaux by Bouwfonds Bouwfonds European Residential fund acquired a development in the city of Bordeaux of approx. 3,900 m2 . The property will consist

Melon District Paris • 191 rooms • Rooms from 18 m2 to 24 m2 • Private bathrooms • Shared and some private kitchens • Total floor area 5,000 m2 • Total development cost ca. €20 million • Long term lease with a family office • Private gym • Garden and pool • Breakfast room • 24-hour reception

of 160 student housing studios, ranging from 21 to 25 m2 . The investment volume amounts to €10 million and the vendor was Vinci. After Paris, Lyon and Lille, Bordeaux is the fourth largest university city in France. Crosslane enters French market with Victus fund In July, UK-based Crosslane announced its first acquisition in the French market. Its Victus European Student Housing fund, has bought two buildings in Chambery. Patrick Reynolds, marketing executive at Crosslane Fund Managers, sees tremendous opportunities in France. “There is a shortage of purpose-built student accommodation not only in Chambery, but all over the country.” Victus is currently looking at various sites in major French cities such as Bordeaux and Paris. Crosslane is working in a joint venture called CBB JV, with BBFD investments in France in order to get better insight into local market developments. Melon District announces first project outside Spain in Paris Barcelona-based luxury Student Housing operator Melon District announced its first plans to expand outside of Spain. In the second half of 2015, it will open a 191-room property in the La Défense district on the west side of Paris. The project is structured as a long-term lease with a family office for a total investment of approx. €20 million. The property will feature luxury amenities such as a private gym, a garden with a pool, game room, daily cleaning of common areas, and more. It will have 179 standard rooms (18 to 24m2), with en suite bathroom, large bed, desk, closet, plasma TV, AC/Heating; and 12 studios with kitchenette. Cooking lounges will be shared per units of 10 rooms. Knightsbridge develops 228 units in Caen UK student housing developer Knightsbridge started construction of a 228-unit property in Caen, scheduled to open in time for fall semester 2015. Another ca. 900 beds are under development in Toulouse and Bordeaux. The company will establish a separate

platform for the French market that will operate independently from the rest of their European enterprise, and will use a separate trading name. France pledges €8 million for MOOC “catch up” Geneviève Fioraso, French Minister of Higher Education, has announced €8 million of funding for online courses to allow France to “catch up” with other countries investing in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). At present, only 3% of French universities offer online courses, compared with 80% in the US. The Ministry wants to promote the courses for job seekers and those already in work as well as for students. “We are very late,” Fioraso said. “In the US, in the UK, MOOCs have been used for 15 years… This is a public investment to enlarge the influence of our universities and to improve the average level of knowledge of the whole population.” “The Ministry will make two investments, adding to the €12 million already allocated to MOOC development,” Fioraso explained. “Of the new funding, €5 million will help to finance the development of online vocational training, and €3 million will go towards video equipment for campuses as part of the ‘CréaMOOC’ project.” Louis XIV gets 77 new neighbours Next to the Orangerie building at the Palace of Versailles a deserted military barracks has been converted into 77 student accommodation units. The monumental building dating back to 1701 was abandoned in 1995, but a deal with the French Ministry of Higher Education in 2008 made its conversion possible. “It was an extraordinary operation to transform such a building into social student accommodation” said Frédéric Didier, Head Architect of the Historic Palaces of Versailles. The studios are rented out for €450 - €700 by owner and operator IRP.



Project: Baskèts, Paris by Ofis architecture Photo: Tomaz Gregoric

BELGIUM COUNTRY STATS Student population: 450,000 %International: 8% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £340(€400)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

France (31%) Netherlands (18%) China (5%)

KU Leuven Ghent University Universite Catholique de Louvain

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £56 (€66)


Source: Savills World Research

The Belgian market is dominated by students sharing flats, but is becoming more active with projects underway by companies like Quares and Xior. Quares acquires student accommodation in Brussels European real estate firm Quares has acquired a student accommodation property in Brussels. The investment volume for the acquisition of 'Van Orley' on behalf of the Quares Student Housing Fund came to €13M. The property comprises 67 rooms and seven suites on Bischoffsheimlaan. Quares plans to add an additional 16 units to the complex operated by Br, a partnership between Dutchlanguage higher education institutions in Brussels. This is the second investment to be carried out recently by the Quares Student Housing Fund, which was founded nine months ago. So far, the fund owns 120 student bedrooms and it is planning a total portfolio of 500 units. Quares operates in the Benelux, Germany and France. Source: Property EU




COUNTRY STATS Student population: 360,000 %International: 23% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £0(€0)


Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Germany (37%) Italy (11%) Bosnia & Herzegovina (4%)

University of Vienna University of Innsbruck Vienna University of Technology

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £58 (€69)


%International: 15% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £1000 (€1200)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Germany (29%) France (16%) Italy (8%)

ETH Zürich EPFL Lausanne University of Zürich

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £81 (€95)


Source: Savills World Research

Source: Savills World Research

With an increasingly international student population, Austria is becoming an attractive destination for student housing investment.

Switzerland’s student housing market stands out in Europe, as university generally own and manage on-campus housing. Private direct-let development has not yet taken off, despite tight housing markets.

Vienna’s tight housing market With 180,000 students, Vienna’s student housing market is remarkably small. Depending on the definition, the city has 12,000 – 14,000 student residence beds, meaning that 1 out of every 13 students in Vienna lives in a purpose-built student residence. The city’s non-profit accommodation providers such as Home4Students and OeAd, have initiated new projects, but are unable to keep up with demand. Already over 25% of Vienna’s students come from abroad, and its international student base is growing quickly. This is putting extra pressure on the local student housing market. Up to now, there has been limited activity in the market for purpose-built private student residences, with Milestone development being a pioneer. Milestone expands to Graz After the successful opening of Milestone I near the new location of Vienna’s University of Economics and Business, the company announced its first project outside the Austrian capital. Construction of Milestone III started in September 2014 and is located in the country’s second most populous city Graz with almost 60,000 students. The property will consist of 378 studio apartments of 20m2, each equipped with their own kitchen and bathroom. For this development Milestone partnered with Austrian Real Estate Development GmbH (ARE), a subsidiary of the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft, the largest owner of real estate in Austria. Harald Hübl, CFO of Milestone noted “We are very happy to provide 378 Milestone apartments to the students in Graz from October 2015 onwards. Further, we are excited about our partnership with ARE which allowed us to move from finding of a suitable plot to construction start within 6 months – an impressive achievement and great teamwork!” The company has plans to open properties in other Austrian cities, and further developments are being planned in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands – the group is on track to achieve 10,000 studios in the year 2020.


Student population: 250,000

Drop in international student numbers after antiimmigration vote Following a Swiss referendum on immigration, the EU has suspended Switzerland’s participation in its student mobility program Erasmus+. The February vote cleared the way for Switzerland to install a quota on immigration from EU countries. According to the EU, this goes against treaties that were signed with Switzerland regarding the free movement of people between the EU and Switzerland, and as a consequence, Swiss students have been excluded from participation in its Erasmus+ program. In April, the Swiss government announced it would make CHF 23 million available to allow Swiss students, who were intending to go on an exchange to do so, with grants given directly to students. This interim solution was extended in September and funding will be raised to €25.1 million in 2016. The result is that more Swiss students will be going abroad in 2014-2015, but Swiss universities are reporting sharp drops in student numbers from EU countries. According to a statement released by the conference of governments of Western Switzerland (WRK), universities in Romandie have seen a reduction in enrolments by European students of between 11 and 38 percent compared with the autumn semester last year as a direct result of the "negative effects" of the referendum. Even Switzerland’s two best-known universities – the Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne and Zurich – have suffered, with European student numbers down 10 percent at ETH Zürich and 14.4 percent at EPFL. The University of Bern reported 11 percent fewer European students this semester, and Basel University also noted a reduction, without releasing an exact figure. The only exception is the University of Zurich, whose EU student numbers were up by seven percent, a situation the institution is at a loss to explain, according to Swiss press agency ATS. Concerns about the drop in EU students are increasing in academic circles. "Although the confederation has put in place an interim solution for Erasmus... the instability surrounding Swiss participation in these programmes has led to a decrease in exchanges," said WRK president Alain Ribaux in a statement.

"International exchanges, amongst students as well as in collaborative research, are very important for our higher education establishments. In order to remain competitive and attractive, they need to pursue cooperation with European partners. International influence is a benefit not only for universities but also for university towns and the country as a whole." 1,200 student housing units for Lausanne’s youth Olympics bid The University of Lausanne and the EPFL are considering developing 1,200 student housing units on a site in Chavannesprès-Renens. The 1,200 beds are necessary to combat Lausanne’s shortage of student housing. The universities have seen their student numbers rise by over 40% over the last 10 years, making it hard to find a place to live. The site also plays an important role in Lausanne’s bid to host the 2020 youth Winter Olympics, as the Olympic village for that event.

Milestone I, Vienna Picture by Erika Mayer (www.erikamayer.at)



Plaza Cristo Rey, Madrid Project by Knightsbridge



COUNTRY STATS Student population: 1,900,000 %International: 3% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £700 (€800)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Colombia (10%) Peru (7%) Morocco (6%)

Autonomous University of Barcelona University of Barcelona Autonomous University of Madrid

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £78 (€92)


Student population: 1,800,000 %International: 3% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £1,200 (€1,400)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Albania (20%) China (8%) Romania (7%)

University of Milan University of Milan Bicocca University of Trieste

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £64 (€75)


Source: Savills World Research

Source: Savills World Research

Spain’s market suffers from a lack of market data and transactions, but with Knightsbridge and RESA investing in new projects, there are signs that Spain is leaving behind its years of real estate crisis.

Europe’s least supplied student housing market is seeing increased development activity. Several developers are working on projects that will ease the country’s student housing shortage.

RESA opens new residences in Barcelona and Madrid In September, Spain’s market leader RESA opened two new properties. In Barcelona the company inaugurated a student residence next to the La Salle Campus of Universitat Ramon Llull. It provides accommodation for 351 students in 233 individual rooms and 59 double rooms. Students can book a “Complete Studio” package that includes meals, room cleaning, and access to the nearby campus sports facilities.

Italy’s student housing market remains undersupplied, despite increasing activity Approximately 68 public and private universities are spread over Italy, with those in Bologna, Rome, Padua and Milan scoring best in international rankings. For the 1.8 million students in Italy, there are approximately 50,000 student residence beds. Most of these are offered by regional organisations - referred to as DSUs - and for a small part by the universities themselves, and by public or private colleges. Such private colleges combine student housing with didactic and tutoring activities and usually operate locally.

RESA’s latest Madrid property, the Colegio Mayor Santa María del Estudiante in the ‘Ciudad Universitaria’, builds on the Spanish tradition of colegios mayores that include all services and full board. The 150 single and 14 double rooms come with weekly cleaning, towels and linen, a swimming pool and a fitness room. The company is continuing its expansion in the Spanish market with two more properties opening in 2015, again in Barcelona and Madrid. Knightsbridge to open Madrid property UK developer and operator Knightsbridge is developing a new property in Madrid near Plaza Cristo Rey. The development on the edge of the capital’s ‘Ciudad Universitaria’ will have 350 beds. It’s the company’s second property in Madrid, with more projects to come in major university cities throughout Spain. Earlier in 2014 the company appointed Miguel Muñoz as Acquisitions Director Spain. Catalan student housing operators launch student residence association ARECMAC ARECMAC is a new partnership of students residence operators in Catalonia. They have come together to to create a quality seal and code of practice applying to all residences and halls belonging to the association. The association further wants to ensure the interests of the student residence hall sector of the region, and work together to promote Catalonia in general and Barcelona in particular as a university destination.

Fondazione CEUR and Fondazione Falciola are examples of the few private entities that operate all over Italy and invest as well as manage student residences. Italian fund manager Fabrica Sgr is an important player on the investment side. From 2001 to 2012, 11,600 new student residence beds have been created which represents an increase of 34%. Fondazione CEUR has been responsible for more than half of the increase that can be attributed to the category of beds offered by public and private colleges. Compared to France, which has approximately the same student population size, a significantly higher amount of students in Italy continues to live at home: 73% (compared to 39% in France and 24% in Germany). The main reasons for this phenomenon are the large number of Italian universities, which allow students to remain in their home town; the economic crisis; the lack of significant economic and fiscal rental payment incentives; and, last but not least the lack of student residence beds: only 3 % of the enrolled university students lives in a residence. A study performed in 2011 shows that the largest proportion of the 660,000 students in Italy who are looking for housing (of which 60,000 are international students) turn to the private market to find a room. Rome and Milan are among the most expensive cities to live in and the monthly rent for a single room varies in those cities from €300 to €800, depending on the location and the type of room (apartment or residence).



New construction of student housing by members of Studentbostadsforetagen

COUNTRY STATS Student population: 460,000 %International: 8% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £0 (€0)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

China (15%) Pakistan (12%) Iran (9%)

Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Lund University Uppsala University

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £69 (€81)


Source: Savills World Research

LULEA 2014: 135 2015: 65

Construction of student accommodation is increasing, but remains insufficient to keep up with demand. Housing providers protest government regulation that prevents costeffective delivery of accommodation. Student housing debate heats up but necessary reforms seem unlikely 2014 was the year in which Sweden’s student housing shortage resulted in a heated political debate. It’s not just the Swedish student housing organisations which sounded the alarm, other parties have joined the debate as well. Stockholm’s Chamber of Commerce called the lack of student accommodation “a serious threat to the economic competitiveness of the Stockholm region”. “The waiting list for a room in a student residence is two years on average in Stockholm,” said Chris Österlund of SSSB, the city’s largest student accommodation foundation, “For students this can be a disaster, as they may choose to study in another city or decide not to study at all.” The political debate focuses on the shortage of development locations and especially the strict building regulations that make it costly for developers in Sweden to build student rooms. One example is the requirement for all units to be accessible for wheelchairs. This makes Swedish bathrooms larger than some student rooms in other countries.


FALUN 2015: 27

UPPSALA 2014: 63 2015: 243

OREBRO 2015: 89

STOCKHOLM 2013: 105 2014: 142 2015: 180 2017: 243

BORAS 2015: 160 GOTEBORG 2013: 108 2014: 232 2015: 208

NORRKOPING 2015: 100 JONKOPING 2013: 151

HELSINGBORG 2014: 19 2016: 160 LUND 2014: 117 2015: 110

LINKOPING 2013:22 2014:26 VAXJO 2013: 17

Source: Studentbostadsforetagen, 2014

After failing to address the topic during his eight years in office, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party promised to deliver 20,000 new student housing units by 2020 in his closing speech at the annual Almedalen political forum. Two months later, his party lost the parliamentary elections on September 14, which means now his promise will likely have been no more than campaign rhetoric.

742 new units proposed for Lappkärrsberget campus in Stockholm Lappkärrsberget is Stockholm’s largest student housing concentration with 2,200 units built in the 1970s. In March, plans were approved to add 742 units to this campus. As yet, there is no construction starting date. “With current building costs, it will be a challenge to make this project financially feasible, despite the fact that we already own the land” said Chris Österland, CEO of SSSB, owner of the campus.

Student housing demand 20 times greater than annual production Swedish student housing production was estimated at between 800 and 900 units for 2013. National student housing organisation Studentenbostadsforetagen has calculated a shortage in Sweden of 20,000 units. And while there seems to be an increase in plans reaching the construction phase for 2014 and 2015, demand is still 20 times greater than the annual production.

Abacus starts construction in Stockholm and plans 1,500 more units In August, Stockholm-based developer Abacus started the construction of 137 units in the Tallkrogen district of Stockholm. The company has plans for 500 more units, and is looking for locations for another 1,000. Three years ago, Abacus built its first student residence in Telefonplan. Josa Lundbäck, Abacus CEO said they expect to start one new project per year. Abacus aims to be the second largest private student accommodation provider in Stockholm within 5-10 years’ time after SSSB.

DENMARK COUNTRY STATS Student population: 230,000 %International: 12% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £0 (€0)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Norway (11%) Germany (10%) Sweden (7%)

Technical University of Denmark Aarhus University University of Copenhagen

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate N/A


Source: Savills World Research

In a context of stimulating internationalisation, both the city of Copenhagen and the construction industry are advocating the construction of more student housing. Denmark outlines plan to attract foreign students Denmark’s Minister for Higher Education and Science, Sofie Carsten Nielsen, has announced a plan to attract more foreign students. Made public in April, it aims to make study programs and environments more international, reduce dropout rates among foreign students and help them find employment in Denmark after graduation. It includes a scholarship program for nonEuropean Union students in selected fields and a visa program to allow those with a Danish Masters or Ph.D. to work or create a company in Denmark within two years of graduation. Ministry figures show 22,260 international students enrolled in full-time programs in 2012, about 9 percent of the country’s postsecondary school student population. Danish building association calls for 20,000 new student housing units In July, 14,000 students were on the waiting list of Copenhagen’s CIU, which administers 4,774 rooms. It illustrates the shortage of student housing in Denmark in general, and Copenhagen in particular. The Trade Association of Danish Construction companies says the situation absolutely critical and is calling for 20,000 new units to be built.

The City of Copenhagen has been accused of ignoring the student-housing situation for many years, but gradually this seems to be starting to change. While the number of students has exploded over the past years, only a few student residences have been built due to a construction ban on housing for young people between 1995 and 2012. Copenhagen is now planning to build 6,000 new student residences by 2025. The city predicts that 20,000 more students will need a place to live in the next five years. Pension fund to build student housing skyscraper in Nørrebro, Copenhagen The Danske Bank-owned pension fund Danica Pension has announced that it intends to invest in the construction of a student housing complex in Nørrebro. The complex will consist of eight buildings – seven blocks up to 12 storeys high and a 29-story skyscraper – which in total will provide 700 student apartments at a cost of almost a billion kroner (€ 134 million). “This investment of just below a billion kroner will yield a stable return for our pension customers for many years in the future,” said Christian E Olsson, the head of investment and project development at Danica. The buildings will be located at an old DSB freight area on Borgmestervangen, near Nørrebro Station, and are expected to be completed in time for the new academic year in 2017. The student housing will include rooms with shared kitchens and independent apartments with up to four rooms. The project is currently in its planning phase and the buildings – designed by Arkitema Architects – must be approved by the City Council. A hearing will be part of the planning process. Danica revealed that the student buildings will be the first of a number of building investment projects in the capital region in the coming years.

Project by Arkitema Architects



The Binary Hub, Dublin Project by Knightsbridge

IRELAND COUNTRY STATS Student population: 190,000 %International: 10% Typical Domestic Course Fee: varies

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

United Kingdon (6%) China (5%) United States (3%)

Trinity College Dublin University College Dublin National University of Ireland

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate N/A


Source: Savills World Research

2014 was the year of investment in the Dublin student housing market. News about the lack of accommodation was alternated by announcement of new projects, mostly by UK developers. Lack of student accommodation in Dublin at “absolute crisis” levels according to the Union of Students in Ireland The autumn semester of 2014 started with a lot of unrest over Dublin’s tight student housing market. In August the accommodation office in Trinity College Dublin emailed students on a waiting list for campus accommodation a list of more than 20 hostels in the city centre because it feared they may not be able to find somewhere to live. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) believes that Government intervention is now necessary to offset rising rent prices that may lead to an increase in college dropout rates. USI president Laura Harmon warned a combination of private sector rent price increases alongside the continuing shortfall in purpose-built student accommodation will fuel a dropout culture in third level education unless immediate action is taken. “Some opt to spend multiple nights sleeping on couches or in hostels every week - others aren’t even able to attain that. There is now a real danger that this will start to impact on retention rates and it requires immediate attention from Government,” said Ms Harmon. USI is calling for the Government to form a taskforce on student accommodation. The union has set up a website to allow homeowners to list spare rooms and their conditions, with the objective of providing students with contacts for those willing to help. Dublin becomes hotspot for Student Housing Investment Up to €250 million will be spent on building student accommodation in Ireland, by Irish and foreign investors in the next five years, according to a survey by estate agent Knight Frank. Sam Ball, senior surveyor with Knight Frank’s student housing team, said the investment is being driven by an undersupply of student housing in Dublin with about 90 per cent of the city’s students unable to access university or private-sector accommodation.

“It’s one of the most acutely under-supplied markets I have worked in. We are advising and engaging on a number of exciting projects coming through in the next five years,” said Mr Ball. “International investors have recognised the high quality of Dublin’s higher education institution provision and the lack of student housing. Knight Frank believes there will be in excess of €250 million invested within the next five years if planning barriers can be removed.” Demand increased following a Government initiative to increase international student numbers in the city by 50 per cent. “There are more than 80,000 students and 20 per cent of those are international students,” he said. Ziggurat, Mortar, Knightsbridge and Urbanest move into Dublin market In January, Ziggurat Student Living confirmed it would open the former Montrose Hotel opposite UCD in Dublin as a student accommodation site in time for the start of the next academic year in September. The €22.5m project, which is the first Irish development by Ziggurat, plans to create over 1,000 student beds in Dublin city over the next five years. According to company managing director Matthew McAdden, there is much more to come from his company. London-based Knightsbridge Student Housing started construction on a €40-million development, which will provide accommodation for 500 students for the Digital Hub in Dublin’s Liberties area. The investment is one of the biggest since the foundation of the Digital Hub in 2001 and marks the next phase in its development. Knightsbridge said the accommodation will be offered on a contract basis to different universities. As part of the project, Knightsbridge will also refurbish a 19th Century Grainstore building on the Digital Hub campus. The company announced it has more plans for Dublin with another 500 beds in the pipeline. UK student accommodation provider Mortar Developments is also planning its first ever project in Ireland. Mortar Developments is hoping to secure permission to build at Church Street, which is adjacent to Smithfield. The accommodation will include 232 bedrooms, as well as a number of ancillary facilities such as a gym, pool room, cafe and a takeaway. The scheme will involve the construction of a property varying between five and seven floors. Earlier in the year, Urbanest’s plans to enter the Irish market were dealt a blow when Dublin’s planning board blocked a €36M project in Dublin that would have marked the company's entry to the Irish market. Last year, Dublin City Council approved the plans, but that decision was appealed against via the planning watchdog. It said the proposed development would lead to the creation of an "intimidating and threatening urban streetscape" and that it would injure the amenity and depreciate the value of the properties in the vicinity.


UNITED KINGDOM COUNTRY STATS Student population: 2,500,000 %International: 17% Typical Domestic Course Fee: £9000 (€10500)

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

China (14%) India (10%) Nigeria (4%)

University of Oxford University of Cambridge Imperial College London

(% of international students)

(Times World Rankings)

National student housing Average weekly rent in student accommodation: provision rate £117 (€139)


Unite fund buys 2,900 student beds for €172m The Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF) has acquired the entire portfolio of the Cordea Savills Student Hall Fund for £137 mln (€172 mln). The portfolio comprises nine regional assets in the UK with a total of 2,904 beds.

Source: Savills World Research

The UK student accommodation market is entering a new phase with international investors buying and consolidating portfolios, while developers continue to add new products to the market. A small selection of news from the UK: Student Housing REITs take off Empiric Student Property and GCP student living both launched dedicated student property REITs for the UK. This marks a new phase in the UK student accommodation market and is a sign the market is approaching adulthood, following what has happened in the US. GCP invests in modern, purpose-built private student rental accommodation and teaching facilities in prime London locations, and it is aiming to deliver a 5.5% annualized income yield growing in line with inflation, alongside a total return of between 8% and 10%. GCP's fund raising has been extremely successful – the placing and offer for subscription of its shares was oversubscribed as to the maximum number of shares available under the issue of 70 million.

The acquisition increases USAF’s property portfolio value by 10% from almost £1.4 bn to over £1.5 bn, comprising 24,577 beds in 68 properties across 22 UK towns and cities. Unite Group to expand regional student housing pipeline In the first six months of 2014, Unite acquired four regional development sites in Newcastle, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Portsmouth, which will be delivered by 2016. Projects at those sites will create 2,261 new student bed spaces with a development value of £125m. It also secured two further regional schemes comprising 1,000 new bed spaces under lock-out agreements. The developer completed a placing of 24.5m new ordinary shares in March, raising £96m to extend its regional development programme for projects to complete in 2017.

Empiric’s IPO raised gross proceeds of £85 million, and the company is considering a second raise. Empiric is targeting cities outside the capital with a high-spec student accommodation.

Unite chief executive Mark Allan said: “Following the success of securing four excellent regional sites in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Portsmouth during the period, our planned programme of 2016 completions is established. “We are now focused on securing strong regional projects for 2017 completion, which will be funded from proceeds of the recent share placing.

Greystar conquers UK market US-based investor and property manager Greystar conquered the UK student housing market in a year. The company entered the UK in September 2013 and has since built up a portfolio of over 16,000 beds with deals for doubling this number well underway. Nathan Goddard, managing director at Greystar Europe: “The number of opportunities to acquire portfolios has been greater than anticipated, so we have been able to grow fast.”

“We expect to secure a 2017 regional pipeline of similar size and quality to our 2016 projects over the next six months.” The student accommodation developer’s profit after tax increased by 16.6 per cent to £43.6m in the first six months of 2014, compared with £37.4m in the same period last year. Unite said the outlook for the student accommodation sector remained strong with university applications for 2014/15 up 3.6 per cent year-on-year.

Greystar sees the student sector as a first step in the UK market, with plans to expand into broader managed housing communities. The company is interested in acquiring further portfolios and is also looking to expand into the continental European market.

In July 2014, Unite acquired a 3,000-bed student accommodation portfolio for £137m. It is also investing £40m over two years in a refresh programme, which includes updating common spaces in its existing properties and installing LED lighting.

UPP announces strategy for growth in and outside the UK UPP, the UK’s leading provider of university backed student property announced its five-year growth strategy in May. UPP is looking to increase its number of university partners from 13 to 20, adding 20,000 student rooms to their portfolio. Its growth is backed by Dutch pension fund PGGM, which took a 60% stake in the company in 2012. In its announcement UPP’s CEO Sean O’Shea hinted at expansion into the European continent.


The transaction was announced by Unite Students, the Londonlisted developer and manager of student accommodation, which holds a 21% stake in USAF. The acquisition was funded through a combination of cash resources and existing debt facilities following USAF’s recent fund raising in March 2014.

REFURBISH & REBRAND EMILY BOWES COURT, TOTTENHAM IN NORTH LONDON In April this year Unite Students, Unite students, launched its new core business purpose – Home for Success. ‘Success’ for students could mean academic achievement, personal growth or preparation for the world of work. Home for Success is an evolution of the business towards enabling students to achieve those goals. With the introduction of Home for Success came a string of signature commitments, all of which are backed by a £40m reinvestment of profits over two years. Two of those commitments are that all Unite homes should contain vibrant, multi-functional spaces, and that their service is full of life and fun. For some properties the natural development of that was a refurbishment of interior areas. The first property to receive just such an upgrade was Emily Bowes Court, a 693-bed student home in Tottenham, north London. The average room is 15 square metres, which includes an ensuite. Unite had already commissioned acclaimed UK designer Wayne Hemingway to create an adaptable Home for Success branding framework, which was applied to the area. Wayne’s designs are characterised by modern and youthful graphical devices and signage. As this was the business’ first major property refurbishment under Home for Success, Unite’s brand director Helen Balmer was involved from the beginning. Helen said: “There were a couple of things we got right from the start. “First, we were determined not to underestimate the time and effort required to re-brand a space as big as Emily Bowes Court. Getting the resourcing right was vital. “Second, we identified early on where we needed to bring in the experts. We are a student accommodation provider, not a design agency. “Once we had decided on a refurbishment it was test, test, test. We learned a couple of things – for example, outdoor space is only well-used if the design is right. “But, overall, our staff and students are delighted with the renovation.”


LOOKING AHEAD AT 2015 A EUROPEAN AGENDA Exciting times are in the planning for 2015. With our broadened base of partners, members and sponsors we will grow our annual program, research and network development. Together with our partners we will shape the work of The Class around the needs of our network. Members-only networking tool We are developing an online tool that allows our partners to interact with each other and stimulate peer-to-peer learning. This tool will be launched before the end of 2014.

December: PropertyWeek conference, London Still in 2014, but an important opportunity for The Class of 2020 to share its knowledge on the exciting European market at one of the main UK student property conferences.

Members-only news and research database Our news tracking service has led to a rich database of student housing deals, projects and news from related industries. With our online database we will make this information accessible and add new information to it on a daily basis.

February: ULI Europe conference, Paris The Class of 2020 will put student accommodation on the agenda of the annual conference of the Urban Land Institute in Paris.

Broaden partnership base As the market is developing and the Class of 2020 is becoming better known, we expect a number of new European student housing operators and investors to join us as a new partner in 2015. Individual members A growing number of independent and senior professionals have requested opportunities to connect with the network. We are revamping our individual membership possibilities which will allow those to connect and participate at partner events. New expert partnerships The Class is looking to strengthen and expand collaborations with expert and professional platforms in the field of campus housing, higher education, youth travel and finance/investment. The evolution of student housing accelerates with the exchange of best practices, facilitating dialogue and establishing research and collaboration will add depth to our relationships with members of EAIE and ACUHO-i. The Class of 2020 academy In 2015 we will further build out the Class of 2020 academy with news services, webinars and other learning opportunities for our partners. Expert panels The Class and its expert network is in a unique position to support local initiatives to increase and accelerate university city growth strategies, student housing supply, improve internationalization efforts and connect cities to new investors.


March: MIPIM, Cannes Together with our partners we will seek opportunities to connect new investors to our network of European student operators seeking investors to match their ambitions. May: LD student housing event, London At the annual student housing event organised by LD, we will organise an event to bring the Class of 2020 network together. June: Annual field excursion, Berlin Berlin is a favourite destination for millennials. Student housing and youth accommodation providers are following their audience to the vibrant German capital with exciting new products. September: EAIE conference, Glasgow At the EAIE conference, the Class of 2020 aims to put student housing on the agenda at Europe’s largest conference about international education. October: EXPO REAL, Munich Many partners and university cities return to Europe’s largest property fair in Bavaria. Next year we look forward to reconnect and work with partners to see how the expertise of The Class of 2020 can be incorporated in the EXPO program. 3 & 4 November: The Class of 2020 conference 2015 Mark your calendars for the next edition of the Class of 2020 conference! If you would like to contribute to the conference with ideas, or you would like to join as a sponsor, partner or exhibitor, please don’t hesitate to contact us via info@classof2020.nl.


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A production of The Class of 2020 foundation Concept & production: Frank Uffen Text & editing: Wouter Onclin, Nicola Chadwick Research: Wouter Onclin, Tia Alahuhta, Yanan He Design & Layout: Sasim Atelier Cover illustration: Chiara Vercesi Photography: Henny Boogert Printing: Elco Extension, Amsterdam More information: info@classof2020.nl







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