2018 The Class Trend Report

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From Post-Industrial City to the New Urban Campus


Proud Platinum Sponsors of The Class Of 2020

index HIGHLIGHTS 2018 - Le Grand Tour 4 Editorial - The Sticky City 8

The Urban Campus 10 INTERVIEW WITH JULIE WAGNER - Innovation Districts Innovation Districts as Drivers of City Branding “So, you are one of those gentrifiers?” ADVISORY - Milano Urban Campus

Live your potential

12 16 20 22

University & City 24 From Ivory Tower to the Non-Campus Campus 26 Maastricht - European University City 30 COURSE CAPITALS 34 How to Reinvent the 21st-Century University 36 Erasmus and Horizon Europe 40 A More Perfect Union 42

Community & Wellbeing


Purpose Built Student Residential Accommodation 48 ASK4 – The impact of Technology on Student Loneliness 52 Residence Life 54 Nido Student - Creating a new Brand Identity 56

Future Living 58 Innovations in Co-Living 60 BEST STUDENT CITY 64 INTERVIEW WITH MARLEEN BOSMA-VERHAEGH - Affordability 66 YHNOVA 68 Chinese Student Preferences 70 Uniplaces – Students of 2020 72 Sovereign Wealth Funds go Back to School 73


E-mail: Marketing@TheNidoCollection.com or meet us at stand 6

European PBSA Regulations 100 Credits & Colophon 105 Our Partners 106

www.TheNidoCollection.com 2








Thank You Note

Le Grand Tour RESEARCH










New Partners

Original events







HE partners






Media Coverage



Unique speakers







beds in partner inventory

People reached




With 14 new partners, 2018 has seen a significant growth in our family of movers and shakers. This continued interest shows us that internationalisation and the infrastructure to support that mobility is imperative to creating liveable and competitive cities. We are proud to have a Class community of 70 industry leaders that allows us not just to exist but to thrive, so thank you!


Bigger & Bolder

Constantly Curious

The European Class Conference 2017 revolved around “The Global Student: Building Bridges over Growing Barriers.� Mayor Fernando Medina stressed that Lisbon wants to be at the forefront of attracting global talent and made a strong argument for international students as a force against the divisive political discourse in Europe. With over 500 attendees and a great geographic spread from Australia to the US and South Africa to Sweden, The Class Conference celebrated a talent ecosystem beyond borders.

2018 has been a year of growth and professionalisation at The Class. Not only has the team grown significantly in size and enjoyed two memorable field trips, The Class also grew solid roots by revamping fundamentals as CRM, financial administration, onboarding procedures and our brand identity. All of that to boost our presence, network and impact. The solid foundations that we have been building in 2018 should enable The Class to seize exciting opportunities to come. TREND REPORT 2019






As a Think Tank research is at the core of our practice. It is where each seed is planted and cultivated before blossoming into new ideas and projects. Let the harvest begin!

A European outlook The year opened with a fresh new start for the research team. Kicking off with a commissioned research on internationalisation in the Dutch university landscape, several regional trend outlooks and our inaugural Best Student City ranking, the research department boosted its output. The proof is in your hands (literally), so see for yourself! We hope that you share our love for The Trend Report 2019’s new look and immersive content.

ADVISORY We believe that attraction, growth and retention of young talent is vital to the future of cities. With dedicated consulting services, we help higher education institutions, cities and economic boards to shape the future of global talent hubs.

Welcome to Our World On invitation of the city council of Milan, we launched the Milano Urban Campus advisory project in which we could truly leverage our thinking and network towards tangible impact. With 8 of our partners and local stakeholders, we co-created new urban campus strategies that re-invent the future of abandoned railway yards in Milan. In the meantime, we are advising The Hague’s new innovation district on new housing typologies, so stay tuned.

THE CLASS ACADEMY REGIONAL SESSION EVENTS The Class events are places to connect our communities, bring actions to life and inspire as much as get inspired by trends in this emerging industry.

Meeting the Minds With 5 Regionals, a MIPIM briefing, our European Conference, a ResLife training, and 13 external conferences attended, events are a favourite at The Class. The Regional Sessions 2018 did not occur without some great highlights. Next to hosting our first ever Session in the UK and revealing the 30,000 beds to be built in the Netherlands in the next 5 years, we also scored a record of attendance at the Barcelona Session! All of this can be (re)experienced on the newly launched archives on both our events and Conference webpages.

ACADEMY Next year we aim to launch a panEuropean research on the impact of PBSA & ResLife on student experience, in order to build evidence-based insights that fuel our inaugural Academy.

Made to Learn In the last months, we have been cooking up something very special at The Class. 2019 will see the launch of The Class Academy. The Class Academy is here to elevate your professional development with best-in-class training programmes. We connect trends at the edges of our industry with peer-to-peer learning on topics as PBSA operations & hospitality, ResLife, European regulations and more. With The Class Academy we aim to bring lifelong learning to all levels of professional in our community.

Beyond our own original events The Class presented its work and network in several external events. This year we travelled to Manchester for CUBO, joined ACUHO-I in Denver and participated in the NSBO Conference in Reykjavik. On top of that, The Class has continuously advocated for progressive standards, regulations and investments in student accommodation in various private gatherings across Europe. 6





The Sticky City Jorick Beijer, Director of The Class

Imagine for a moment you find yourself in a zeppelin, looking down on a European Union that looks like a broken puzzle, with pieces that are strictly defined by their geopolitical borders. Closed political rhetoric is still thriving, and this topic was at the heart of our 2017 European Conference in Lisbon. On a higher altitude, you lose sight of every divisive border and slowly discover a glimpse of urban regions that light up against this background. You recognise a network of pulsating cities that exist independent from nation states. Across these cities ambitious Mayors rule and footloose students spark the script for the next age. The geography of talent nowadays is a tale of thousand cities and these are the places where the burgeoning, talented, and urban oriented generation continues to rebuild and redefine itself. In this year’s work the concept of the Urban Campus became our window to the world. As the industrial world of the last century crumbles away in European cities, it has left in its wake concrete playgrounds for the creative, entrepreneurial spirits on the move. Looking back, we initially perceived the urban campus as a pleasant and timely notion of the modern university. It’s no longer remotely isolated in suburbia, but completely integrated into the urban fabric - with students living around it, integrated 24/7 amenities and an upbeat lifestyle. Working on several abandoned areas in the Milano advisory project (p.22), the Urban Campus became a powerful methodology for 21st century urban regeneration, based on authenticity, flexibility and interconnectedness. Aggregating talent in a true co-revolution. The Insead Global Talent Competitiveness Index indicated growing concerns of CEOs about the scarcity of the right skills and the lack of access to talent. So, what are the urban benefits that will attract and retain tomorrow’s talent? As the leading think tank in Europe, The Class is committed to an invigorating exploration of everything that makes talent stick. If anywhere, that stickiness is found in the nexus of international higher education, progressive city leadership and the development of exciting urban places. It’s that triple helix which we have been nourishing since our foundation and we will continue to do so. Together we are The Class, and we invite you to stay ahead with us by sharing your leadership and continuing to build on it.



Community & Wellbeing This February, the German government launched a Ministerium fur Heimat. Now there isn’t such a thing as a proper translation for the German word ‘Heimat’, but home / homeland is probably as close as it gets. Rather than just a territorial definition it evokes a sense of place and belonging. As Gen Z is the a entirely digital-native generation, the very idea of rootedness in place has become both urgent and complex. That is what residence life is all about: growing personal wellbeing through attention and meaningful interactions. We hope you will be inspired by the Community & Wellbeing section in this Report (p.46)

Maturing Markets Worldwide roughly five million students are studying outside their home countries today, more than double the 2.1 million who did so in 2000. This has been a strong driver in the institutionalisation of purpose-built student accommodation across the globe. Sovereign wealth funds (p.73) are quickly growing their investments in PBSA from a 4 per cent share in 2011, to more than 15 per cent in 2016. The renewed Market Updates section in this report (p.75) elaborates on key markets and highlights noteworthy new kids on the block.

Best Student Cities The Class has made it its mission to advocate for the most welcoming, professional and inspiring infrastructures that enable an increasingly footloose generation to live life to the fullest. This year we are thrilled to launch The Class Best Student City Index (p.64). In each of the 20 featured talent hotbeds such as Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Vienna, you will find a combination of optimism and openness. And ranking just outside the top 10, cities like Ljubljana, Toulouse and Leuven, offer an unexpected and intriguing home away from home.

University-led Urban Regeneration Maastricht University (UM) ranks globally as one of the best young universities and is a remarkable example of university-led urban regeneration (learn from Clare Melhuish at p.26). UM was founded just in 1969 in response to tremendous socio-economic decline that was caused by the closing of the coal mines in the province of Limburg. In a double interview (p.30) Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake and university president Rianne Letschert outline this remarkable rise of what is now an EU-regional university with over 50 percent international students. TREND REPORT 2019


The Urban Campus

Data is the new oil, but undeniably knowledge is today’s most valuable resource. Attracting, nurturing and retaining it is crucial for every city that wants to stay competitive. Indeed, we believe that universities with their students, faculty and living labs, have the power to completely reinvent cities. As you will read in the interview with Jullie Wagner universities can be the perfect petri-dish in urban regeneration as the locus of a growing intellectual class that is by default connected globally and locally. 10




have extensive R&D portfolios that are driving innovation, and they

In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of the innovation district concept, often sparked by the success of areas like Kendall Square in Cambridge and 22@Barcelona. As stated in a 2014 Brookings report[1]: “Innovation districts[2] help address three of the main challenges of our time: sluggish growth, national austerity and local fiscal challenges, rising social inequality, and extensive sprawl and continued envi¬ronmental degradation. There has been a growing belief that, with the right ingredients, these innovation districts can be created and empowered, leading to prosperity. To gain more insight in this topic, The Class conducted an interview with Julie Wagner, one of the writers of the Brookings report.

Julie Wagner is an urban researcher and co-author of the research paper “The Rise of Innovation Districts”. She is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, an independent think tank based in Washington DC and President of Urban Insight. Julie also helps advance the competitiveness of cities and regions globally, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Milan, Silicon Valley, Sheffield, Sydney and Torino.




Innovation Distric ts Julie, what is it that makes innovation districts so interesting to you? The complexity of innovation districts continues to fascinate me. They require looking at geographies through dozens of lenses - how organizations and firms innovate, how firms grow, how people can come together in ways that spur curiosity and creativity, how diverse organizations can start to change and adapt when they start working across different organizational structures, how financing can be aligned and leveraged, and how physical spaces and geographies facilitate a growing collaboration and convergence of different actors. Not only do these disparate threads need to be understood in detail, they all need to be threaded together to create a competitive strategy for increasing innovation and growing jobs. Thinking about the layers of all this together is just fascinating. Universities can be important drivers of innovation for a district. Can you elaborate a bit more on that role? In the vast majority of innovation districts globally, universities play a central role. They are the locus of a growing intellectual class, as most

are naturally connected globally and locally offering that important perspective to discussions. They also have an increasingly role in growing and supporting startups. Of course, there are clear differences across universities. Some are more entrepreneurial in nature than others, although this also depends on national policies and the extent to which they encourage or limit universities to act more entrepreneurial. And how about students, what position do they take in the growth and existence of innovation districts?

energy past work hours. If you don’t have housing, then you don’t have a vibrant district. You have also limited your market for restaurants, amenities, and neighborhood-serving retail. I also believe that housing is just better when it is mixed into the overall landscape rather than tucked away to the side. This kind of mixing - the mixing between living and working, between different kinds of people, between different activities and uses - importantly makes districts more interesting and “city” compared to the more sterile science parks. We often see innovation districts emerging on former industrial sites. Is there a link between the heritage buildings and innovation districts?

Definitely, students can play a crucial role in the development and I believe, quite strongly, that the growth of innovation districts. And re-use of heritage buildings is many districts are thinking through what makes innovation districts various strategies to increase their importantly unique and special contribution. The notion of taking places. Many places make the translational research[3] and working mistake of building slick, shiny new with PhD students and master buildings only to later find that their students to advance that research intervention has eroded the unique is a core aspect of driving district qualities of a street, of a block, of development. Next to that, helping a neighborhood. And it’s hard to them connect with industry more see as an observer and advisor. regularly and sharpen research to Developers and decision-makers are reflect what industry wants or needs simply failing to see what is valued is a very important role they can and desired. Let’s take start-ups: play. And finally, students can be start-ups are very sensitive to the risk-takers by nature. By that I mean physical characteristics, layout, and they are willing to participate in the advancement of new start-ups, which “feel”. Almost by default, startups search for those heritage buildings; is a crucial aspect to fueling the places with unique details, layers local economy and creating jobs. of designs and details, and a story. Protect those heritage buildings I Innovative forms of living are argue to anyone willing to listen. an example of physical assets that can give an impulse to Finally, can you tell us what innovative districts. How do you think is the most exciting you think these typologies, like upcoming innovation district? co-living, can have an impact? Housing, including a range of innovative co-living spaces, importantly gives districts their

however, is the desire on my part to pull together all the outstanding, creative pieces from various districts and create one example of a district. I wonder if it would come together as beautiful as I see in my mind’s eye, or whether all those great ideas must be importantly wrapped within a local context. But as you have asked about upcoming districts: let me give you two countries to watch: Australia and Israel.

Impossible!! There is just too much interesting thinking going on. What is starting to happen, in my mind,

In order to untangle the complexity, the ingredients for an innovation district are divided into economic, physical, and networking assets. When these three assets combine with a supportive, risk-taking culture they create an innovation ecosystem TREND REPORT 2019


THE INGREDIENTS That these districts are complex, also stems from the report: given the vast distinctions in regional economies, the stakeholders, form and function of innovation districts differ per region as well. In order to untangle the complexity, the ingredients for an innovation district are divided into economic, physical, and networking assets. When these three assets combine with a supportive, risk-taking culture they create an innovation ecosystem a synergistic relationship between people, firms and place (the physical geography of the district) that facilitates idea generation and accelerates commercialization. Economic assets are the firms, institutions and organizations that drive, cultivate or support an innovation-rich environment. Economic assets can be separated into three categories: - Innovation drivers: research and medical institutions, large firms, SME’s, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. - Innovation cultivators: the companies, organizations,

or groups that support the growth of individuals, firms, and their ideas. They include incubators, accelerators, and shared working spaces. - Neighborhood-building amenities: these amenities provide important services to residents and workers in the district, and activate the streets and public spaces, inviting a mix of people to shop, browse, and mingle.



















For innovation districts, convergence - the melding of disparate sectors and disciplines - is king. District stakeholders need to build horizontal platforms to connect seemingly dissimilar industries through collaborative research, conversation, and cross-cutting technologies.


Connectivity and proximity are the underpinnings of strong district ecosystems. The experience of proximity - or a physical concentration of firms, workers, and activities - is what differentiates a “buzzing” district from a boring one.



The clustering of innovativesectors and research strengths is the backbone of innovation districts. This is what makes districts thrive, rather than government attempting to pick industry winners or developers focusing on a real estate play.

Districts are supercharged by a diversity of institutions, companies, and start-ups. Districts that are largely comprised of large institutions often lack the accelerated innovative growth that small, nimble firms provide. And districts characterized by a density of start-ups have fewer opportunities for well-funded partnerships and alliances.











5 G







Next to the protection of heritage buildings, there are 12 guidelines[4] that Julie and others draw up that help to grow and evolve innovation districts. These guidelines are summarized below.

Finally, networking assets are the relationships between actors - such as individuals, firms and institutions - that have the potential to generate, sharpen and accelerate the advancement of ideas.




Physical assets are the public and privately-owned spaces buildings, open spaces, streets and other infrastructure - designed and organized to stimulate new and higher levels of connectivity, collaboration and innovation. Next to public and private assets, there is a third category: physical assets that knit the district together and/ or tie it to the broader metropolis.





This illustration depicts the concentration of economic, physical,and networking assets within one node of an innovation district - the size of a full city block. While a district commonly rangesin size between 300 acres and 1,000Tacres,creating a critical mass at specific nodes or a key corridor, which then extends over time and space, is proving to be a smart and successful strategy.

5. [1] Brookings, 2014, The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America [2] Definition: Innovation districts are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators.

Innovation districts need a range of strategies - large and small moves, long-term and immediate. These approaches are complimentary: Large-scale investments set the foundation upon which other activities can be layered.


Programming is paramount. Programming - a range of activities to grow skills, strengthen firms, and build networks - is the connective tissue of a district.

Social interactions between workers - essential to collaboration, learning, and inspiration - occur in concentrated “hot spots”. A handful of social hot spots in a district will likely punch far above their weight in terms of building community. Make innovation visible and public. Daylighting innovation in public and private spaces helps inspire curiosity in aspiring innovators, start conversations between neighbors, and convey the story of an innovation district to potential recruits or investors. Embed the values of diversity and inclusion in all visions, goals, and strategies. It is only through intentional training, hiring, business development, and placemaking efforts that districts can cultivate new local talent and encourage more diverse ownership structures.


Get ahead of affordability issues, as successful districts can, over time, drive up market pressures, impacting the ability of start-ups, maturing firms, and neighboring residents to remain in these areas.


Innovative finance is fundamental to catalyzing growth. Most innovation districts require new finance streams to advance innovative and inclusive growth without straining existing and limited resources.


Long-term success demands a collaborative approach to governance. A bottom-up horizontal governance model - involving business, academic and civic institutions, government, workers, and residents - can best orchestrate what must be done collectively.

[3] Translational research: research with market value [4] Wagner et al. 2017, Twelve principles guiding innovation districts



Rotterdam Science Tower


INNOVATION DISTRICTS AS DRIVERS OF CITY BRANDING Five Success Factors of Effective Place Branding Rinske Brand, Founding Partner at BRAND - The Urban Agency 16


Innovation Districts are of great value conjure up totally different associations and to urban renewal, not only in terms of hence appeal to very different people. spatial and economic redevelopment, but The strategic positioning of places is in line also with regard to the enrichment and with the positioning of products. Robert empowerment of the image of the city Govers and Frank Go (2009)[2] define the in question. Conversely, the overarching development of place brands as ‘the city brand can add to and accelerate the process of discovering, creating, developing success of an Innovation District. In this and realising ideas and concepts for (re) process, strategic place branding – turning constructing place identities, their defining a place into a brand – is of great value. traits and “genius loci” and subsequently In this article I will discuss the emerging building the sense of place.’ place branding discipline in depth. From a number of practical examples I will distil A place that draws you in five success factors that underlie successful A good place brand is distinctive, authentic place and city branding. and relevant; it is easy to remember and furthermore appeals to the right people. New Energy in the City When everything clicks, this creates a clear Clustering innovative entrepreneurs and sense of place: the unique vibe of a specific education and research institutes in an place, a place people want to be part of. Innovation District is a proven method of When an Innovation District is sharply focused bringing new energy to a city. With the arrival on its distinguishing and unique features, of new, often young and highly educated prospective visitors will receive the right residents and users in a certain area the city message and have the right expectations. gains expertise, spending power and vigour. If Properly publicized, Innovation Districts properly positioned, however, the Innovation will draw the right target groups. And this District can also contribute to the reputation ultimately benefits the entire city. of the city as a whole. After all, more and But how do you achieve a successful place more cities are presenting themselves as brand that supports the city brand and vice innovation hubs and ideal locations for versa? Below, I will present five success start-ups and scale-ups. Local initiatives factors on the basis of four cases. help them flesh out that promise. Of this, LX Factory in Lisbon, Station F in Paris and Where Thinking Joins Up Silicon Allee in Berlin are striking examples. The London KQ, or Knowledge Quarter, is Communities and a lively programme of a consortium that now includes 85 worldevents and activities develop around these renowned academic, cultural, research, physical locations. scientific and media organizations all based around King’s Cross Station, from the British Approaching a Place like a Brand Library and the University of London to Google. To draw the right people, it is important for a What they have in common is that they are place to develop a clear vision and a distinct actively engaged in the advancement and identity. Or, as Simon Anholt put it crisply dissemination of knowledge. Together they even in 2006[1]: ‘In today’s world every place form the largest concentration of knowledge has to compete with every other place for institutes in London. As a research hub, its share of the world’s consumers, tourists, the Knowledge Quarter generates mutual business, investments and attention.’ This connections and promotes KQ activities. is why it is useful to approach places like Through a joint strategy including festivals, a brand, that is: provide them with sets of awards and events the KQ expresses and (positive) associations like the ones evoked underlines the brand proposition that KQ by products or companies. Brands showcase is the ‘gateway to knowledge’. This way, the what distinguishes them from competitors Knowledge Quarter supports the brand and inspire brand loyalty in certain groups on ‘London’. The identity of the city is partly the basis of specific core values. Car brands held up by cultural and scientific pillars. It is such as Volvo and Tesla, for example, each no accident that some of the world’s most

[1] S. Anholt, Competitive Identity: The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions, 2006 [2] F. Go, R. Govers, Place Branding: Glocal, Virtual and Physical Identities, Constructed, Imagined and Experienced, 2009

In today’s world every place has to compete with every other place for its share of the world’s consumers, tourists, business, investments and attention



reputable cultural and knowledge institutes are located in this city. The Knowledge Quarter strengthens this brand proposition and, with partners like Google, future-proofs its promise.

beyond physical locations. All aspects of the brand have been developed, including a brand identity and different storylines. An online toolbox offers all stakeholders free access to, among other things, logos, photos, promotional videos, brochures and sample texts. Excellent PR has ensured that delegations from all over the world visit Eindhoven. Companies based in Eindhoven benefit from the umbrella brand. Anyone who links up with the Brainport Eindhoven brand automatically emanates professionalism, technical innovativeness and ambition. The above shows that the close collaboration of all stakeholders is a key to success. After all, the parties concerned create the brand together. Realising a common ambition is a concerted effort. From this third success factor follows a fourth. Of course all stakeholders have to communicate the brand in an unambiguous way as well. It is worthwhile, or actually necessary, to facilitate this, for

Proof of Promise We see a similar reciprocity in other cities as well. Berlin, for example, has the ambition of becoming the startup capital of – at the very least – Europe. The city presents itself as ‘Europe’s booming Startup Hub’. The Berlin-based Silicon Allee links up perfectly with that ambition. This originally Englishlanguage blog about the Berlin tech scene was set up to provide Berlin’s startup scene with international recognition. The initiative quickly developed into a lively community and in 2017 procured a physical place in the city: the Silicon Allee campus. This campus houses an impressive list of German and international tech companies. The urban campus and the city brand support each other and in addition, Silicon Allee proves that Berlin is a major startup hub. We can distil two success factors from these examples. First of all, the brand of the Innovation District and that of its mother city must be in line. They have to share some strands of the brand’s DNA to make the combination logical. Secondly, the brand has to be integrated, that is, people have to be able to experience the brand in public space through events, through the community, through stories and so on. Brainport Eindhoven is also working to integrate its branding. The urban region claims it is a ‘world-class innovative top technology region’. At the crossroads of high-tech, design and social innovation, this umbrella brand connects dozens of stakeholders and all the innovations that see the light of day in Eindhoven under this heading. Governments and public and private parties collaborate more closely on the basis of a shared ambition. Different areas in and around the city underline the claim and spread the brand message, including Eindhoven University of Technology, Strijp-S and the High Tech Campus. Here, too, the Brainport Eindhoven place brand extends 18


High Tech Campus Eindhoven Bottom-Left: Techniek College Rotterdam Top-Left: Station F in Paris

example by using a practical toolkit. This helps stakeholders to promote the brand and encourages them to become brand ambassadors. Rotterdam also fosters the ambition to become a more attractive startup location. The municipal government brought the Cambridge Innovation Centre and the affiliated network vehicle Venture Café to the city, for example, but the areas in the city fringes offer lots of opportunities as well. Under the moniker Rotterdam Makers District, two areas formerly occupied by harbour activities now focus on the new manufacturing industry (this applies new techniques such as 3D printing) and the energy transition in the maritime sector. Their first offshoot was the RDM Campus, but the Merwe-Vierhavens District has seen plenty of development in recent years as well. The municipality and Port of Rotterdam play key roles in the development of both areas. They initiate and facilitate activities and initiatives and for now, they carry the load of the process. However, the growing success of the Rotterdam Makers District means more and more public and commercial parties join. The number of brand ‘owners’ gradually increases. This shows that place branding, especially in the beginning, is impossible without leadership. It takes an initiator to prepare the way and enthuse potential ambassadors. A good place brand not only has many owners (contributors), but also a captain who monitors the course towards the dot on the horizon. In short, Innovation Districts bring new energy and activity into a city, attract new target groups, but can also be of great value to the city brand. In order for both brands to benefit optimally from each other, take account of: 1) synergy in brand DNA; 2) integrated brand development; 3) close collaboration; 4) clear pointers for storytelling, and 5) clear leadership. Taking those factors into account, the road to an extremely successful place brand lies before you. TREND REPORT 2019



SO YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE GENTRIFIERS? Looking for a new code of conduct in real estate

Simon Schaefer, Founder of Factory

Gentrification is one of the most taboo words in my world. Recently, when explaining what I do over drinks, I was asked “so you’re one of those gentrifiers?” There is little worse than the conflict where the growth of cities destroys its very fabric, where commerce and cultural ignorance overrun organically grown communities, where the nouveau riche real estate broker is confronted with the masked power-to-thepeople streetfighter. There is little worse, than this negative version of gentrification. It’s clear that cities are trying to balance a fine line between developing neighbourhoods and losing their soul, with hugely different outcomes from S.F. to New York to Berlin and Hong Kong. 20


Gentrification is “the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste,” as stated in Google’s dictionary entry. It is a (mostly) residential real estate ploy, in which neighbourhoods with mainly an urban residential stock are turned into upper / high class living products. The buildings are usually built by a developer, who sells the apartments one by one to the end user or a fund (often with a developer as mediator) that does the same thing on a larger scale; renting the places and then selling the portfolio a few years later. In both scenarios the interest is short-term, and thus safekeeping the soul of the neighbourhood and its unique vibe is not naturally part of the objective. Enter co-working and co-living. The two hottest (or most heated?) trends amongst real estate professionals worldwide are spreading at a fast pace, and are at risk of stimulating gentrification. As I have argued many times before, there’s worse forms of gentrification than through startups. I cringe and physically get angry every time I see the phrase ‘Luxury Lofts’. This will be a controversial statement, but I’d say that entrepreneurship is the most embracing form of gentrification you will find. It is a central part of the objective to merge with the local community, without dismantling its social fabric and composure. Geeks and Designers are some of the most prone-to-success in a positive or acceptable gentrification process, since all forms of diversity are at the core of the value system of the startup and tech community. This startup value system, initially clearly traceable to hippie culture and experiments in research and innovation in Silicon Valley, has created some of the most successful and global business models of our time. And, who would have thought, that it’s exactly these companies who are clashing against local activists and neighbourhood protection groups when building real estate projects? The example of Berlin Kreuzberg´s Google Campus is even more of a conundrum: the project creating a wave of anti-Google protests is an entrepreneurship campus, where startups are supported and of course,

are sold Google products. But the programs are providing some tools of 21st century entrepreneurship to the city’s community - for free. So, the actual intention of supporting the neighbourhood’s small business (aka “Google for Entrepreneurs”) has the opposite effect to what is intended, infuriating a few, discussed by many. So clearly something is off. Perhaps the local community in that exact location is not interested in digital tools; perhaps there are higher, cultural motifs and let’s not forget the whole Trump thing that’s in the way. But I believe the approach is just dead wrong. There needs to be a commercial revision to these types of developments. Apartments should also be provided and mixed properly with public spaces and event programming, while also generating good returns in the mid and long term. Global enterprises such as Google have to be more of a neighbourhood developer, taking the real estate game serious instead of being just a startup campus operator, where the event venues are accessible only with key cards. They have to accept their corporate status and realise that any development, no matter how altruistic, is part of a wider community that needs to be addressed and served. The same is true for co-working, co-living, funds and developers. The best way forward for our urban communities is probably not to build new standard steel and concrete boxes. Or worse even, renovating old factories, destroying patina and turning them into new buildings in the trendiest neighbourhoods just to rent out desks (co-working) or beds (co-living) of the smallest unit possible. We need to find new ways to develop cities that are smarter and more sustainable. We need to redevelop sensitively and support locally, and not just implement proven business plans for maximised returns. We also need a new way of looking at those returns: while ecological sustainability is already clearly leading the way (BREEAM, LEED), #proptech is still in its infancy and so much can still be done for environmental and social sustainability with technology. Finally,

where operational models are disrupting the traditions of real estate, a long-term perspective can and will become more relevant, actually honouring the values that are created organically in our inner cities, and that the startup industry wants to embrace. The word gentrification can be traced back to “Landed Gentry” and the class of gentlemen of London of the 14th century. In taking a cue from the noblemen of the past, I propose a code of conduct for the real estate industry, where the quality of urban spaces should be defined by its level of communal and forward-thinking social impact, and not the highest price per square meter. Where the long-term incentive of building a city in which our children want to live creates better returns, than looking at the next three years’ profits.

A global enterprise such as Google has to be more of a neighborhood developer, taking the real estate game serious, instead of being just a startup campus operator, where the event venues are accessible only with key cards

Co-working and Co-living developers and operators can be the ones to lead this updated approach. Those that are already claiming to disrupt the real estate industry can have a positive effect on communities, and have the responsibility to step up and deliver results, so the behemoth of real estate can follow the lead.

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We believe that such methodology of publicprivate co-creation is the best way to raise the bar for a talent-led, urban regeneration.


Milano Urban Campus

Here we present possible futures for Porta Romana, Scalo Farini and the connection between Città Studi and Lambrate, international best practices and a bespoke set of policy recommendations on zoning, affordability, branding and higher education profiling that should allow Milan to unleash its full potential as an international talent hub. Find the full report at: www.theclassof2020.org

Scalo Farini sketch by Cino Zucchi

When benchmarking Milan against international talent hubs, it is not difficult to outline three critical challenges. Firstly, the share of English Taught Programs in Italy is far behind other European countries, making it a less desirable destination for international students. Secondly, the rankings of Milan’s two key public universities, Statale and Politecnico, fall outside of the top 150 cities in the notorious QS and Times Higher Education rankings. Thirdly, Milan suffers, more than other university cities such as Firenze, Torino and Bologna, from a major shortage in the provision of professional student housing. With just 3 percent of the students in Milan living in purpose-built student accommodation, Milan is still far behind competing university cities with diverse and contemporary housing.

Città Studi & Lambrate sketch by Cino Zucchi

Amid this landscape of opportunities, The Class of 2020 gladly engaged with Commune di Milano to a fast-track urban campus development in Milan. The particular space to innovate the Italian talent ecosystem can be found in the abandoned railyards of Milan. Seven railyards, owned by FS Sistemi Urbani, will be redeveloped in the next decades, and are a last resort to accommodate Milan’s rapid growth. This advisory project provided a platform in which industry experts ASK4, GSA Global Student Accommodation, CBRE, rtmliving, The Student Hotel, Dentons, StudentMarketing and Aermont Capital leveraged their expertise with prominent local stakeholders. 22




University & City





public as relatively benign and trustworthy compared to conventional commercial developers.


FROM IVORY TOWER TO THE NON-CAMPUS CAMPUS University interventions in the urban landscape

Clare Melhuish, UCL Urban Laboratory

[1] Robinson, C. and Adams, N., 2008, Unlocking the potential: the role of universities in pursuing regeneration and promoting sutainable communities. Local Economy 23:4, 277-289 [2] Melhuish, C., 2015, Case Studies in University-led urban regeneration. London: UCL Urban Laboratory





Not EU





not EU

81% UK


42% International



SOURCE: UK Universities International, 2018, Higher Education 2018 – International facts and figures.

Last June, the UK government confirmed it would grant £100m of funding towards the cost of building a new academic site for University College London, home of the UCL Urban Laboratory, as part of the newlynamed East Bank legacy development of the Olympic Park in London. The commitment represents a significant vote of confidence in the capacity and intention of the university to contribute as a catalyst for the regeneration of east London. To put this in context, a 2008 survey of 35 UK universities found that over two-thirds ‘stated that their institutions had dedicated urban regeneration teams’, but only three were engaged in urban regeneration initiatives as property developers through spatial development projects. Two reported that they ‘simply did not see regeneration and community engagement as relevant activities for a HEI’, and the remaining 30 were engaged in urban regeneration through various types of social engagement and outreach activity[1]. A decade later however, universities have come under increasing pressure to make a contribution to wider local regeneration initiatives; many more universities now are engaging in spatial development initiatives as so-called ‘anchor institutions’ and ‘placemakers’ in urban regeneration projects, as I documented in my 2015 publication, Case Studies in University-led urban regeneration[2], looking at a number of UK and US campus development projects. Research shows that they also widely perceived in that role by the

UK government policy has stressed the need for universities to work harder with new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) on Strategic Economic Plans towards local growth[3]. In 2014, a five-point framework for a university-wide renewal of principles around place-making and social engagement was announced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Failing to anticipate the European Referendum of 2016, it declared the arrival of the 39 LEPs and European Structural Funds for regional development as the only secure source of funding for universities over the coming years [4], due to cuts in public funding for higher education and increased competition for students. Universities were urged to address five specific areas: engagement with local schools; local skills agendas; social innovation and social enterprise; cultural engagement; and local economic growth. Last June I was invited to participate as respondent in a discussion at the Italian Cultural Institute in London which considered the changing operational context for higher education institutions in the European context. It highlighted the impact of the Bologna Process on European universities, especially the increased mobility and precarity of faculty staff across the common European arena for higher education which it created. The starting point was a presentation by the authors of the book Territori della Conoscenza. Un progetto per Cagliari e la sua università[5] (Knowledge Territories. A project for Cagliari and its university), which examines how university architecture is responding to the new conditions - including the promotion of student-centered learning strategies and facilities, the emergence of the studententrepreneur, and the development of new kinds of relationships between universities and their host cities. During the discussion, the contemporary transformation of university campuses, driven by the market logic of neoliberal regimes, was compared to the revolution in university design and construction which occurred in reponse to

the massification of higher education during the 1960s.

To put this in context, a 2008 survey of 35 UK universities found that over two-thirds ‘stated that their institutions had dedicated urban regeneration teams’, but only three were engaged in urban regeneration initiatives as property developers through spatial development projects.

As in the UK, universities across Europe are being promoted as agents of urban regeneration both because they can generate economic activity and produce skilled localised workforces to power the knowledge economy, and offer stability and sticky capital[6] as anchors for development with a long-term commitment to place and community participation. They are being asked to invest in widening participation programmes locally and increase access to students from non-traditional backgrounds, but at the same time many are under pressure also to ‘internationalise’, by attracting more students and staff from overseas, teaching some courses in English, and maintaining their institutional rankings in the international league tables.

[3] Witty Review of Universities and Growth, 2013 [4] Melhuish, C., 2014 [5] Puddu, S., Tattara, M., Zuddas, F., and Graziani, S., 2017, Territori della Conoscenza. Un progetto per Cagliari e la sua università. (Knowledge Territories. A project for Cagliari and its university). Quodlibet [6] to use the term coined by Maurrasse (2001)



[7] Hall, S., 1999, Whose heritage? Unsettling ‘the heritage’, re-imagining the post-nation, Third Text 49, 3-13 [8] University of Gothenburg Project Vision, 5th March 2013 [9] Copenhagen Growing, By & Havn [10] Majoor, S., 2015, Urban Megaprojects in Crisis? Ørestad Copenhagen Revisited, European Planning Studies, 23: 12, pp 2497-2515; Moulaert, F., Arantxa Rodriguez, and Erik Swyngedouw, 2003, The Globalized City: Economic Restructuring and Social Polarization in European Cities: Economic Restructuring and Social Polarization in European Cities.Oxford: OUP [11] short-term flexible work contracts and restricted workforce progression, combined with financial penalisation resulting from insecure income; remotely located housing with poor healthcare, education services and transport provision; fragmentation of family units across areas (due to housing allocations and lack of affordable options) which reduces opportunities for interaction and informal support; and exclusion of ‘problem’ communities from decision-making (as set out by Benneworth, P., ed., 2013, University engagement with socially excluded communities. Dordrecht: Springer Science+Business Media) [12] Wiewel and Perry, 2008, Global Universities and Urban Development: case studies and analysis. M. E. Sharpe and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; see also Perry and Wiewel, 2005, The university as urban developer: case studies and analysis. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. [13] Benneworth, P., and Hospers, G-J., 2007, Urban competitiveness in the knowledge economy: universities as new planning animateurs’, Progress in Planning 67, 105-197 [14] Hayward, J., 2001, Breaking the mould: the surprising story of Stockton. The first te years of the University of Durhamm’s Stockton Campus, OxCHEPS Occasional Paper No. 3. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies



This presents a challenge to universities to balance local, place-based demands and global reach equitably. Teachers and students in universities have been described by the American historian Thomas Bender as living at once in a local place and in a trans-local culture of international scholarship, which they must constantly bring together in fruitful and mutually beneficial ways. Across UK universities (and university cities) in 2016-17, 81% of undergraduate students were from the UK, with 6% from the EU and 13% from the rest of the world, but 42% of students at postgraduate level were from outside the UK, with a large majority of international students coming from China at both levels. 27% of the academic staff in UK universities were from overseas in the same year, with 15.6% from the EU and 10.9% from outside the EU. Internationalisation demands that we consider the impact of university cultures and spatial interventions on the wider urban landscape - both big cosmopolitan cities, made up of many diverse and mobile communities, and smaller towns characterised by greater homogeneity in cultural identity. Stuart Hall identified two key factors in changes to received understandings of ‘a shared national identity’ - firstly, ‘the democratisation process’, and secondly, the critique of the Enlightenment ideal of dispassionate universal knowledge… coupled with a rising cultural relativism which is part of the growing de-centring of the West and western-oriented or Eurocentric grandnarratives [7]. These changes have had a significant influence on the ways in which universities frame their institutional identities and missions, and their relationships with other communities, especially in multi-ethnic European cities, with whom they seek to engage in the construction of a shared urban, rather than national heritage. In this context we increasingly see HE institutions promoting a rhetoric of urban regeneration, community participation, and inclusion – the so-called third or civic mission - which focuses on a neighbourhood scale of engagement, addressing urban inequalities, diversity, and widening access to urban space and resources.

The University of Gothenburg in Sweden, for example, is developing a project with Akademiska Hus (the government enterprise which owns and manages university buildings), for consolidation of its Arts and Humanities faculties in the centre of the city at Campus Näckrosen which will also provide a place to engage with the problems of migrants in need of intellectual shelter in the city – ‘A place for the unexpected, integrated into the city structure’, where people from different places and with different backgrounds will meet and work together..[8]. This is a key issue for Gothenburg, which has been a host city for incoming migrants and refugees particularly from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa since the 1990s, with a dramatic increase in recent years which has led to heightened political tensions around issues of integration, segregation and conflict in the city’s suburbs. In another example, both the University of Copenhagen and the IT University have been key actors in the creation of Copenhagen’s Ørestad knowledge quarter - a Development Corporation project in the poorest area of Copenhagen which has been positioned as both ‘a strong asset in the capital’s competition with other metropolitan areas’ and an initiative in the creation of a new urban life[9]. In common with many top-down, large-scale Urban Development Projects, Ørestad has had its critics[10], particularly with regard to local participation and benefit. Certainly, if we think about the key mechanisms of social exclusion[11], the challenges for equitable development in the urban context are profound. There is certainly a body of opinion that for universities to try to fix this range of structural issues as urban regeneration actors is well beyond their remit as at least partly publicly-funded higher education institutions; yet a growing expectation that they will find the ways and means to do so, as Wiewel and Perry have indicated: The urban location and centrality of universities to the nature and well-being of cities means that cities and countries can be expected to turn to their universities as part of strategies to respond to the new challenges and opportunities that global economic competitition poses for urban regions[12].

If this is indeed the case, then universities need to grasp the capacity and potential which they have as power-houses of critical thinking and influence, as well as urban landowners and developers, and embrace a role as agents of inclusive, equitable, cosmopolitan urbanism. As so-called anchor institutions, collaboratories, living laboratories, planning animateurs [13], and non-campus campuses [14], universities as institutions, working in partnership with other urban actors, are well-positioned to develop new kinds of social and spatial resources that can help to make cities better places.

Clare Melhuish

Clare Melhuish PhD is Director and Senior Research Associate in the UCL Urban Laboratory, a cross-disciplinary centre for research, teaching and public engagement on cities and urbanisation.



TRANSFORMING THE REGION[1] Nowadays, the UM is formed by roughly 17,000 students, of which about half is international. About 5,200 jobs are directly provided by the UM. Besides this, the university creates about 1,500 indirect jobs and 1,300 jobs for students, bringing the total amount to almost 8,000 jobs. This makes the UM one of the biggest employers in the province, next to the hospital Maastricht UMC+. Of the academic staff 39% is international. Thanks to these international employees and students, the share of the Maastricht population with non-Dutch origin has now grown to 28%. The gross added value of the UM is more than €1.1 billion.



Maastricht University is the only Dutch university in the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and the Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN). Maastricht University boasts the highest share of international students in The Netherlands and ranks among the best young universities in the world according to THE and QS. All of this raised our attention, so we decided to take the train to this charming city in the south of The Netherlands. Here we met and interviewed two of the city’s power ladies: Prof. Rianne Letschert, the first female Rector Magnificus of the Maastricht University, and Ms. Annemarie Penn-te Strake, the first female Mayor of the city of Maastricht. 30


IMPACTING THE CITY The university owns about 40 buildings, of which three quarters are monumental buildings in the historic centre of the city. Prof. Letschert says, “The university puts a lot of effort in making sure that all buildings are well-maintained, and you can find intriguing art projects everywhere. Every building has its own distinct feel and identity, something that students really appreciate. Facilities are modern, but the environment is historic.” The Mayor tells us that, “The university investing in these buildings is of great value to the city.”

the city offers as a whole is crucial to them.” Mutual consultation also occurs within new developments, like the Tapijnkazerne area, where the province is involved as well. The former barracks were very isolated, but fences have been removed and the area is now more open and connected with the rest of the city. Prof. Letschert explains, “We also consulted with local residents, because we want to develop amenities that are useful for them as well. Another important factor for this process is sustainability, something students definitely agree with.”


SHARE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS Non-EU Dies Natalis 2017 Maastricht University Top-left: Prof. Rianne Letschert (left) and Ms. Annemarie Penn-te Strake

HISTORY OF MAASTRICHT UNIVERSITY “After the closure of the last coal mines in the province of Limburg, in the 70s of the previous century, cities in the south of The Netherlands were on the brink of becoming ghost-towns,” states Mayor Penn-te Strake. In 1976, a new university saw the light of day in Maastricht, making it the youngest university in The Netherlands. As Mayor Penn-te Strake put it, “The university is our lifeline and not only an economical one. It reinforces what the city already had in its DNA. Thanks to the university, Maastricht is now a youthful and vital city with an innovative atmosphere, and the urge to strengthen this continues.”

Dutch German Other EU

[1]Maastricht University, 2018

Mayor Penn-te Strake continues, “We have a strict building aesthetics committee, and we usually follow their advice. We are very cautious about the streetscape; all has to be of high quality and the UM understands this.” Prof. Letschert adds, ”A student chooses for a specific course and looks at the reputation of an institute, but the place where he or she will be living is just as important. Since most students will live here for three years, their wellbeing, living environment and what

Room with shared facilities

Multi-room apartment

One-room apartment



STUDENTS AND INHABITANTS While the university’s presence has a lot of upsides, it’s not all smooth sailing. Students can be somewhat of a nuisance, which is hard to dodge in such a compact historic city centre. This problem is taken very seriously by both the university and municipality. The Mayor regularly visits inhabitants and students at home, where this topic is one of the things she addresses. She emphasizes, “Nobody is against the university, people see the added value of the university for the city.” Prof. Letschert adds, “We see it as our task to help students recognize their responsibilities. We want to educate responsible citizens.” On the other hand, both address that Maastricht is a young university city, and that – unlike historic Dutch university cities as Leiden and Utrecht - inhabitants of Maastricht are simply not that used to students yet. To change this attitude it takes time and a culture shift. STUDENT HOUSING There is no large shortage of student housing at this moment, but according to the newest report of the national student-housing monitor, there is a large demand for other type of housing. In addition, the number of students is expected to grow next year by circa 4%, creating extra demand for housing. Recently the Annadal complex was renovated and extended with more than 200 rooms, but already all rooms are occupied. In addition to other major projects which are being developed, the university is considering container houses to accommodate new students. The university also has some student housing under its own management, which is quite unique in The Netherlands. This is a conscious choice, since the university is recruiting a lot of students and wants to make sure they can be accommodated. Prof. Letschert says that “If the market simply doesn’t offer enough housing, it would be easy to say that it’s not our problem. It is our problem. Students are very mobile these days, and they make conscious choices. If students enrol early, they are also first to get a room and that for a lower price. This way, we make housing part of recruiting resources.”



UNIVERSITY BEYOND BORDERS At its core, Maastricht University is a European university. The proximity to Aachen and Liege shapes a ‘Euregional’ landscape full of opportunities. Prof. Letschert says, “Aachen has a university of technology, which is complementary to UM. We definitely want to collaborate more with them, for example, in the area of data science. With Hasselt, we already collaborate under the name ‘transnational University Limburg’ (tUL), and together we offer educational programmes and issue diplomas.” Physical mobility beyond national borders remains a challenge and it is public transport that makes the links between the universities vulnerable. Mayor Penn-te Strake says that, “According to research, the economy of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion could grow 9% more if collaboration was more efficient. Different regulations on either side of the border are now often a barrier. The national government in The Hague seems far away in these cases, as it looks like they often have no clue about these situations. For this reason, I’m glad that last year a special Secretary of State for region was appointed in the coalition agreement, who is also doing a great job.” Zooming out one more step we see Maastricht University taking leadership on a panEuropean level. In 2015, it has co-founded the Young European Research Universities

Bookstore Dominicanen in the centre of Maastricht

[2] YERUN, yerun.eu

Network (YERUN), a group of 18 innovative high-ranked European universities with the aim to strengthen and develop cooperation in the areas of research, academic education and service to society[2]. In addition, it wants to maximise mobility, research capacities and employability of the graduates of the affiliated universities. Prof. Letschert explains, “For us, this is a confirmation of the international role of the UM, and an endorsement of what we are doing.” Another tangible manifestation of this international ambition is its campus in Brussels. Having been active since 2010, the UM Campus Brussels offers executive education and training for professionals in and around the EU institutions. The Campus also functions as UM embassy. Prof. Letschert says that, “We have seen rapid growth in Brussels, and therefore we opened a new, larger building at the start of this year. As it is already full, we might even have to look for further expansion in the near future.” These programmes and collaborations are not only intended for branding, but also to gain political recognition - both international as national. “There is a discussion going on over the growing internationalisation of higher education, and recognition that the UM is a European university could definitely help in this debate,” says Prof. Letschert. A recent example was the UM being taken to court for having too much English-Taught Programmes. The court ruling ultimately

Maastricht is already internationally renowned for the treaty of Maastricht, which is considered to be the birth of the European Union and the Euro. Next to the programmes mentioned in the main article, the city wants to consolidate its international character even more with the programmes Europe Calling and Working on Europe. The first one aims at creating a dialogue on the future of Europe, with the goal to increase the involvement of the residents of Maastricht and the (Eu)region in Europe, crossborder cooperation, and the international positioning of the city. The idea of the latter programme is to draw attention to Maastricht as an international centre of excellence, with a leading European research agenda and a visible bridge to its inhabitants.

turned out in favour of the university. Mayor Penn-te Strake adds, “Luckily this ended well.” CHANGING PARADIGMS Maastricht University builds on the understanding that higher education has a transformative impact on societies, cities and regions. It’s the raison d’etre of the university and this makes UM the obvious pioneer in thinking about the future of education in Europe. Taking a step back to The Netherlands, the university is pioneering as well. “There have been several attempts to establish the concept of the ‘University of The Netherlands’, by analogy with the University of California. It brands itself as one university to the world, but apart from that they all have their own character and identity, with among them top institutions like Berkeley and UCLA. I don’t see why we can’t do this in The Netherlands, since all Dutch universities are ranked high. I think it’s more important to secure this together, instead of competing with each other,” says Prof. Letschert. One of the reasons for this competition is the fact that the current funding structure of higher education in The Netherlands is based on the market share of students. Prof. Letschert says that, “We don’t want to grow just to maintain our market share. We are happy with the number of students we have now, as it fits our way of teaching and the size of the city.” This is one of the reasons why the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science appointed a special commission which has the task to come with recommendations for changing the process of funding. The results are supposed to be presented in April 2019. She continues, “It would be better if universities get funding for their own specific ambitions and challenges, instead of growing because of market share. Some universities who have internationalisation in their DNA, like the UM, could be appointed as international universities. This would help the UM positioning in the European lobby, and on a national level as well. Then the minister could say, ‘At the UM we want internationalisation to grow and blossom, because it’s a truly European university’. We know we are.” TREND REPORT 2019




London Berlin Köln

Mapping Study Programmes Around Europe


London Milan Instanbul

This data represents international student interest for degrees taught in English, mapped across prefered European university cities. The data is based on Studyportals’ 30+ million unique annual visitors. These are prospective students interested in pursuing a degree abroad. The dataset is based upon Studyportals’ website analytics data and anonymous user account data aggregates. Due to internet restrictions and a strong bias towards Chinese web offers, there is an under representation of Chinese visitors and potentially other countries with similar restrictions. In more specific analyses, there may be a small bias due to the commercial activities of Studyportals, but overall the web traffic is organically gathered and has proven to show strong correlation with enrolment statistics.





Göttingen Nijmegen London

London Berlin SOCIAL Amsterdam SCIENCES


London Amsterdam Dublin

16% Aachen Munich ENGINEERING Eindhoven & TECHNOLOGY

3% London Nijmegen HUMANITIES Amsterdam



9% Munich London COMPUTER Brussels SCIENCE & IT TREND REPORT 2019


Otto Scharmer PhD is a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan, a Thousand Talents Program Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and cofounder of the Presencing Institute.




“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” This quote from Plutarch is as true today as it was two thousand years ago. Still, the misconception of education as a vessel-filling activity remains. In this article Otto Scharmer outlines an idea that could reshape our universities while also prototyping new ways of addressing urgent societal challenges. The kindling of the flame that Plutarch talked about has never been more relevant than now. 36


context of VUCA shaped environments. Vertical literacy gives us the vocabulary and capacities to: • Become a blackbelt in listening with our minds and hearts wide open • Turn a conversation from debate to generative dialogue • Shift organizational fields from competing silos to generative eco-systems • Invent new coordination mechanisms that operate from shared awareness.

The classical university was based on the unity of research and teaching. The modern university has been based on the unity of research, teaching, and application. The emerging 21stcentury university, I believe, will be based on the unity of research, teaching, and civilizational renewal

Then go to universities and talk to faculty and deans of management and engineering schools. Many, maybe most, are rather illiterate when it comes to vertical development. They think mostly in terms of horizontal development - for example, about adding another skill here or another app or course there. They do not think in terms of upgrading the entire educational OS - of our students, our learners, and our societal systems.

Tackling the lack of vertical literacy

Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer at MIT

These gaps and divides are amplified by the silo structure of our key institutions and the mindset of the decision makers that operate inside them. To address these issues at their root requires two things: new platforms for cross-sector co-creation and an upgrade in the operating system that people use to collaborate - practices that facilitate a shift from ego-system to eco-system awareness. The lack of vertical literacy is the main problem in our universities and schools today. Talk to experienced CEOs and CPOs (chief people officers) of major companies and ask them what they need. They commonly say: people, teams, and leaders that can make our organization thrive in a world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). By that, I believe they mean people and capacities that can take their organization into the 4.0 world in which they respond to disruption by co-sensing and co-shaping the future.

VERTICAL LITERACY: Addressing the Knowing-Doing Gap The difficulties we have in meeting today’s global challenges, such as implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) worldwide, are not caused by a knowledge gap. We have all the knowledge we need. The problem is a knowing-doing gap: a disconnect between our collective consciousness and our collective actions. In most societal systems we collectively create results that (almost) nobody wants. Examples: the ecological divide (the selfnature disconnect), the social divide (the self-other disconnect), and the spiritual divide (the self-self disconnect).

But if you think about it, if we follow Plutarch, I believe that the only reason universities exist in the first place is to provide vertical developmental literacy. Especially now. If you want the app, you just go to an online learning store like edx.org and get your free knowledge download. Done! You don’t need a physical university for that. The primary reason we have universities and other institutions of higher education today is to support the development of vertical literacy. That means creating a learning environment in which the learner can step into his or her highest future potential in the context of hands-on societal challenges. In our experience, this requires us, as learners, to upgrade the way we pay attention and listen, to upgrade the way we converse, dialogue, and think, to upgrade the way we organize and coordinate in the TREND REPORT 2019



University of Copenhagen, Library


NOTE: A version of this article appeared earlier at Huffington Post



How do we build vertical literacy at scale? Well, not by placing learners inside lecture halls. And also, not by separating out humanities, social sciences, and STEM into separate universes. That much we know. What it will take is nothing less than a complete reinvention of schooling and higher ed based on a new set of principles. Here is a first cut at a list of core ideas:

1. Co-initiate: Put the learner into the driver’s seat of profound societal change. The learner is not a consumer. She or he is a partner in making the world a better place. 2. Co-sense: Move the outer place of learning from the lecture hall to the real world. This isn’t just about action learning but also includes immersion journeys to the global hotspots of societal renewal across cultures. 3. Embodiment: The essence of learning in this century revolves around activating the intelligence of the heart and then putting it to use in serving the needs of others and the whole. 4. Science 2.0: Science 2.0 must integrate first-, second-, and third-person data by bending the beam of observation back onto the observing self. 5. Systems Thinking: Make the system see itself. Systems thinking is a core capacity of vertical literacy. 6. Systems Sensing: Make the system sense itself. This is the core capacity to unlock collective creativity. Learners must become literate in “aesthetics” in its original meaning (aistesis means to sense): the cultivation of all our senses. 7. Systems Inversion: Transform the system through eco-system activation. All societal sectors go through similar institutional changes: from perpetuating systemic silos to cultivating generative social field in the context of their eco-systems. 8. Know Thyself: Deepening our selfknowledge requires us to access not only the intelligence of the open mind (curiosity), but also the intelligences of the open heart (compassion), and open will (courage). 9. Tend the Fire: To patiently elicit and draw out the unique qualities and expression of each person with perseverance and in support of his or her highest possible future. 10. The Fourth Teacher: Use nature and social fields as gateways. Building on The Reggio Emilia approach we see the cultivation of profound learning relationships to nature and to social fields as gateways to the deeper sources of knowing.

REINVENTING THE IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY The classical university was based on the unity of research and teaching. The modern university has been based on the unity of research, teaching, and application. The emerging 21st-century university, I believe, will be based on the unity of research, teaching, and civilizational renewal. To transform higher education into its most advanced evolutionary state requires nothing less than a full inversion 1. Cross-Sector Innovation Labs. Create of its traditional discipline structure toward cross-sector Innovation Labs that bring 4.0 ways of innovating and learning. together key stakeholders and innovators The purpose of education is not to fill vessels. who need each other in order to evolve the It’s also not to spurn people who diligently system they operate within. rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. The 2. Cross-Intelligence Capacity Building. purpose of the 21st-century education and Create massive online-to-offline mechanisms university is to help us develop what matters for complementing the labs and building the most: vertical literacy - the capacity to sense deeper capacities at scale (that means at and actualize our highest future possibility marginal costs close to zero). With the u.lab in the face of disruption. MOOC we have prototyped a mechanism All the elements for making this happen at that combines the democratization of access scale already exist. By connecting them we to knowledge with the activation of the deep can activate a vibrant global eco-system learning cycle. that can protect the flame that Plutarch was 3. Awareness-Based Action Research: Deep talking about and that we need to pass on Data Imaging. Although “big data” has been from one generation to the next. We need useful in many parts of our daily lives, the intentional places to kindle, cultivate and algorithms that increasingly shape our reality evolve that flame. have also became a liability that undermines some of society’s foundations. We need to progress from big data to deep data. 4. A Community of Eco-System Catalysts. The fourth building block deals with people. The best concept is worth nothing if the faculty do not embody these new forms and the principles of student-centered learning. We need a new faculty track for reflective practitioners who are more deeply involved in major projects of societal transformation and who can share their knowledge-in-action with students while also helping learners deepen their own capacities for embodied knowing. 5. Places, Platforms, and Practices for Making the System Sense Itself. The fifth building block concerns places, platforms, and core practices. The piece most needed here is places: high-quality spaces that are designed and structured to build vertical literacy. How can we build a 21st-century university that embodies these principles of vertical literacy, i.e., of awareness-based systems change? The answer will vary across contexts, cultures, and geographies. But in our experiments, we have found the following five building blocks to be critical:

The primary reason we have universities and other institutions of higher education today is to support the development of vertical literacy. That means creating a learning environment in which the learner can step into his or her highest future potential in the context of hands-on societal challenges.




ER ASMUS AND HORIZON EUROPE The next tools in the construction of an European identity

Opinion by João Pinto, president Erasmus Student Network

[1] European Commission, Commission adopts proposal for the next Erasmus programme 2021-2027, 2018 [2] European Commission, Erasmus+ factsheets, 2017 [3] Erasmus Student Network, Erasmus+ Traineeships around the world!, 2018 [4] CHE Consultant et al., Erasmus Impact Study, 2015 [5] Erasmus Student Network et al., Erasmus Voting Assessment, 2014 [6] Erasmus Student Network, #ErasmusUpgrade Manifesto, 2018 [7] More information at Erasmusx10.eu



The European Union (EU) is not an individual country. Understanding this fact is essential to understand the importance of Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. Education, culture, youth, and sports are national and sometimes even regional competences, meaning that each country is independent to create their regulations in these fields. Research is different, as even though it falls within the national realm, international collaboration is essential for the production of competitive outputs. All in all, the EU does not have a lot of room to impose regulations in these sectors. Despite its limitations, the EU has managed to make Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ successful initiatives, bringing together millions of citizens across the continent. The

success of these programmes is reflected in the proposals[1] the European Commission has released for their follow-up in the period of 2021-2027. The Erasmus programme was created in 1987 to encourage academic exchanges, starting with the first batch of 3,000 participants. Fast forward to 2014, and “+” was added to the programme’s name to reflect its six different fields: higher education, youth, sports, adult education, school education, and vocational education and training (VET). Today, more than 9 million people have benefited from Erasmus (+), half of which are in the higher education sector [2]. Even though more oriented to bring nonEuropeans to study in Europe, exchanges go beyond the continent. In addition, there is also an important traineeship dimension which, since September 2018, also allows for global exchanges[3]. Erasmus students feel more European, are more employable and are generally more engaged in society[4]. According to the Erasmus Voting Assessment, Erasmus students were also three times more likely to vote in the European Parliament elections in 2014[5]. Overall, Erasmus is quite successful in creating well-rounded European citizens. For this reason, and especially in a time of reflection on the European project, there were many expectations regarding the future of Erasmus[6]. The need for a bigger budget and for more inclusion are some of the most consensual ideas put forward[7], since a mid-term evaluation concluded that the programme is not inclusive enough[8]. Consequently, the new programme proposal for 2021-2027 saw its budget doubled to €30bn. The goal is to make Erasmus more inclusive, allow for more international (nonEU) exchanges, and reduce its administrative complexity. In general, despite an overall satisfaction, the proposal has been criticised[9] for aiming at reaching three times more people with only the double of the budget[10]. There is a fear of loss in the quality of mobility, potentially hindering the perception the participants have of the programme. Recently an EU

official mentioned[11] that the number will be achieved through virtual exchanges, which are significantly cheaper than physical mobility, and through group mobility in schools or in the new DiscoverEU initiative[12]. Other important innovations are the expansion of mobility in the VET sector outside of Europe and the possibility for smaller organisations to apply for Erasmus+ grants with a simplified application procedure. To bring the EU closer to its citizens, the participants of the programme will also be encouraged to volunteer during their exchange. This is an important initiative that can effectively bring closer locals and foreigners and foster intercultural dialogue, a competence that is essential in today’s Europe[13].

Europe and Erasmus do need a bigger investment for the citizens to see horizon the EU’s added-value in them [8] European Commission, Erasmus+ evaluations, 2018 [9] Erasmus Student Network, More Erasmus for more people, but not enough investment: Reaction of the Erasmus Student Network to the new Erasmus+ Programme, 2018 [10] European Commission, Commission adopts proposal for the next Erasmus programme 2021-2027, 2018 [11] Erasmus Student Network, Meeting on the future of the Erasmus+ programme, 2018 [12] European Commission, DiscoverEU, 2018 [13] Erasmus Student Network et al., Fostering Active Citizenship through Erasmus Student Mobility, 2018 [14] Erasmus Student Network et al., HousErasmus research, 2017 [15] European University Association, Horizon Europe: EUA analysis of the European Commission proposal, 2018

The growth of Erasmus+ can bring additional challenges to the housing market. As identified by the HousErasmus+ research[14], accommodation has become one of the main obstacles to student mobility. The lack of accommodation on offer, especially within an affordable range, as well as intercultural misunderstandings and even fraud, are among the main reasons for this challenge. As the programme becomes more ambitious, the housing providers, universities, and municipalities must partner up to solve this challenge and contribute to increase the inclusiveness in Erasmus+.

Horizon Europe, the next EU research and innovation programme, has seen its proposed budget increased from 77 to 100 billion euros. This amount, however, is considered by some[15] as insufficient for the ambitions of a programme that ultimately aims at increasing Europe’s global competitiveness. Among many features, the programme aims at further expanding Open Science and an increased possibility of combining different sources of EU funding for projects that can serve multiple goals. This can contribute to increase the impact of research in society, eventually reducing the gap between academia and the general population. All in all, the proposed Erasmus and Horizon Europe programmes meet some of the expectations of the organisations in the field, with the important exception of their budget allocation and questions related to inclusion and accommodation. The process is however far from being concluded. In the next months, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, together with the member states, will present their opinions on the proposals, bringing different ideas to the negotiations’ table. The goal is to have the new programmes approved before the next European Parliament elections in May 2019. Both programmes show that even though the EU is not a country and does not have competence in these fields, with the right vision and proper investment it can lead the member states to become more than their individual sum. These programmes are a result of European integration and, in turn, generate more integration. However, none of this can be taken for granted. Horizon Europe and Erasmus do need a bigger investment for the citizens to see the EU’s added-value in them. Hence, an important slice of this funding must be allocated to reach out to the general population, using these two programmes as tools to overcome the disconnection that some Europeans feel with the European project. Even though these programmes are not created by a single country, they manage to open new doors for many countries. With the right investment, hopefully, they will open new doors for their citizens too. TREND REPORT 2019



A MORE PERFECT UNION The potential of European Branch Campuses

[1] Hobsons, International Student Survey, 2017 [2] C-BERT, Branch Campus Listing, 2017

Christopher Hill

In a world where transferability, mobility and value are key, Europe, and in particular the EU, has tremendous potential and opportunity for increased activity in the field of branch campuses, says Christopher Hill. The question remains, however, as to whether this is a relevant form of development and if so, what form should it take? Literature largely focuses on branch campuses in emerging education systems, with a great deal of attention paid to Asia and the Middle East. With recent changes in Europe, there has been increasing interest in this region. As the uncertainty of a postBrexit world looms large, UK institutions, in particular are looking to Europe as a venue for establishing branch campuses. SHIFTING SANDS In a post-Brexit Europe, whatever form that takes, there will certainly be both opportunity and risk for branch campus development. With changes to the UK fee and visa structures, UK HEIs are looking to Europe as a possible avenue for student retention through branch campus creation. A 2017 Hobsons report[1] surveyed 949 international students and highlighted that 76% of EU students would be very likely or somewhat likely to consider a UK branch campus in an EU country other than their own; 58% of EU students would be very likely or somewhat likely to study in a UK branch campus in their own EU country. These figures, from a student perspective, indicate both the perceived value of a UK 42


STUDENT SURVEY: PREFERRED CHOICE FOR A UK BRANCH CAMPUS IN EUROPE Belarus 2 (RUS) Belgium 1 (UK) Croatia 1 (USA) Cyprus 1 (UK) Finland 1 (ES) France 6 (UK 2, USA 4) Germany 5 (FR 2, TR 1, USA 2)

education and the appetite to remain in the EU. As part of the survey, students were asked which EU cities would be their preferred choice for a UK branch campus and the top three were Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. In terms of current activity, C-BERT’s 2017 report[2] lists a total of 47 branch campuses operating in Europe. The breakdown is listed in the table as host country then sending nation. To place this in context, the list represents a total of 18 host countries and 10 sending nations. This level of activity is significant and little discussed in the academic literature. This speaks to success and a level of understanding and operational capability that can be leveraged for further

Greece 3 (UK 1, USA 2) Hungary 1 (USA) Italy 5 (CHN 1, FRA 1, USA 3) Latvia 1 (RUS) Poland 1 (USA) Russia 2 (SWE, USA) Slovakia 1 (USA), Spain 5 (FRA 2, USA 3) Switzerland 3 (FRA 1, USA 2) Turkey 1 (FRA) UK 7 (FRA 3, MAS 1, CH 1, USA 2)

development and engagement. Interestingly, there is existing cross-European engagement in this area and so the option for a regional model is already in place.


EVOLVING MODEL Mobility and transferability are key. The primary questions now for students are ‘will my degree be recognised everywhere and to what extent is it marketable?’ Although the term branch campus is a traditional one, it can mean many things. And it should. The evolution of a university is underway and the branch campus should be no less a part of this. The concept of an integrated urban campus, one that is connected to its environment but also mobile and agile is worth further discussion. Over the past few years, there has been discussion of UK universities opening campuses in Europe. Oxford University was reported as considering a Paris location and Kings College London was in discussion to build on their Transcampus Initiative with TU Dresden. These two did not come to fruition and now Coventry University joins this debate as it plans to open a branch campus in Poland. This would be the second such endeavor in Poland and the first by a non-American institution. The campus will occupy existing buildings in the city, thus reducing the cost and risk model initially. This is an example of controlled engagement. A more flexible and mobile approach is worth exploring given the considerable resources required to establish a ‘fully-fledged branch campus’. Appetite and need are evolving and therefore, so must university provision. There is opportunity here. Opportunity to reduce risk; opportunity to better manage resources; opportunity to be more relevant. The drive to offer a comprehensive suite of courses is no longer applicable. What is required is targeted and specialised degrees that leverage and build upon the institutions expertise.


MANAGEMENT It is imperative that universities look beyond the set-up of a branch campus to the management and organisation. National regulations, communication channels, legal issues and even culture can play a role in the

consider a UK branch campus in an EU country other than their own

58% would study in a UK branch campus in their own EU country

success or failure of a branch campus. Two dominant models of campus management are evident in Europe, centralized and decentralized. The decision to own or lease buildings is critical and has implication beyond finance to control and oversight. Real estate may well be managed by public authorities, as in Denmark, or by public property companies, as in Finland, Sweden and Norway. Another possibility is that campus management is decentralized and ‘owned’ by universities themselves or outsourced, by them, to campus or estate directors. A branch campus cannot be a decision made on a whim. They require careful planning and discussion, due diligence and understanding. Success is in the offering, not mere campus presence CASE STUDIES The value of a branch campus, both to the sending institution and the host nation, is its ability to connect with its environment. To leverage external expertise; to build capacity and to create links and opportunities otherwise not in place. While the ‘fully-fledged’ campuses tend to attract the attention, there are clear examples of innovative and interactive models in place. These range from in-built mobility between the home and branch campus; a networked model of learning provision; and an international partnership with a focus on capacity building. St. John’s University has a campus in Rome and a presence in Paris and Limerick. There is a concerted effort here to develop an TREND REPORT 2019


Christopher Hill Christopher Hill PhD is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Director Doctoral Training Centre at The British University in Dubai. He has worked in the field of international higher education for the past decade and has extensive experience with the branch campus model in both Asia and the Middle East.

The value of a branch campus, both to the sending institution and the host nation, is its ability to connect with its environment

[3] stjohns.edu [4] euruni.edu [5] goglobal.tsinghua.edu.cn



inclusive and mobile student environment include a direct link between two bespoke that provides students with the chance to entities that provide expertise and a level study in multiple locations and to engage of commitment to growth. with the wider community and business arena in all locations[3]. This is an example of FUTURE OF BRANCH CAMPUSES an institution leveraging the branch campus The UK examples highlighted above may model to increase mobility and interaction. not have moved beyond discussion, but the In this sense, branch campuses are perhaps language used was as a direct response to better seen as points on a journey rather than Brexit. This confirms to the traditional branch a destination in and of themselves. campus model, and the search for student The EU Business School is an ideal example markets. This model has evolved over time of cross-border and truly European activity. and more mature players sought to integrate The institution has a multicultural student and collaborate with their host nation and body, drawn from over 100 nationalities institutions. The European model need not and an alumni network over 27,000 [4]. With be about student access or pure market campuses in Barcelona, Geneva, Montreux, retention but can rather focus on partnership, Munich, students are provided with every relevant delivery and cross-cultural exchange opportunity to move and experience learning and development. In essence, following the in different environments. The aim of the EU European model itself. Business School is, through small class sizes, The branch campus model should promote personalised learning opportunities and the partnership and integration with the local targeted use of guest lectures and company community. There are opportunities to offer engagement, to offer students a platform to training and professional development to interact with international business leaders increase relevance, promote integration and learn directly from their surroundings. with industry and attract funding. The future The partnership between Tsinghua University branch campus should encourage mobility and Politecnico in Milan to establish the and innovation. A fixed location but not a Sino-Italian Design Innovation Hub[5] points static point of activity. to future activity. This represents a balanced approach of expertise and capacity. The SinoItalian Design Innovation Hub will provide a platform for China and Italy to cooperation and collaborate on design innovation, support exchange of ideas, culture and research. The branch campus model here can be seen to




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Zachery Spire PhD is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the UCL Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments. His focus is on student residential accommodation, and student experience and engagement.

Transformative Spaces & Places of Student Engagement

Zachery Daniel Spire



Imagine, we are sitting at a coffee shop in central London and I propose to take you on a quick tour through some of my ideas on purpose built student accommodation (PBSA). I start by suggesting we travel back in time to my home state of California (US), across the Atlantic to my experiences in PBSA in London, England and into the receptions of future PBSA emerging across the US, United Kingdom (UK) and Europe. I note some of my memorable experiences and reflections from my time working in and studying student residential accommodation. I note Europe where the influence of PBSA on local communities is emerging into new and exciting policy, practice and provision frameworks. I want us to explore, in our imaginations, the past, present and future of PBSA, where ‘somewhere for students to live’ reflects on some of the factors influencing quality relationships, high quality evidence based built environments and strives to contribute positively to student engagement. For me, PBSA holds the potential to be a place for staff and students to collaborate and co-create their experiences, learning, personal and shared development. PBSA is generative, having a cascading influence on students, staff, their relationships and communities. A hub for opportunities to engage students, to be our students’ transformative home away from Home.

STOP ONE: Los Angeles, California (United States) My personal and professional experiences living and working in PBSA began as an undergraduate at the University of CaliforniaLos Angeles (UCLA). I volunteered and worked for residence life, housing and hospitality services. I experienced first hand numerous and dynamic approaches to PBSA and providing ‘somewhere for students to live’. This went beyond a place to eat and sleep. Instead, residential communities integrated living spaces with events and educational opportunities (such as guest speakers on race relations and behavioural economics) to create a ‘place’ where staff and students co-created community[1]. At UCLA, residence life was about creating the conditions within which students could thrive academically, develop social networks and learn with and from fellow residents and staff [2]. UCLA residence life reflected institutional values, principles and beliefs towards students’ out-of- classroom life in higher education. At UCLA I began to develop my own understanding of ‘what’ PBSA meant to an institution. Namely, a place where teams of professionals and student staff work with students to co-create communities of opportunity without obligations. STOP TWO: San Francisco Bay, California (United States) Shortly after graduating from UCLA I headed north, to San Francisco Bay. I had got a job working for Apple and found a nice area just south of the city where I called home for a few years. Nearer my later years in San Francisco, I worked in residential education at Stanford University. In residential education I completed a number of small research projects within the department. After, I was given an opportunity to work on resident assistant (RA) training for the summer of 2010. RA training required intensive operational and logistical work. My experience left me feeling the approach to RA training at Stanford was distinct from that I had experienced at UCLA. The institution and department reflected on the significance of students’ residential environment as a place where living together implied opportunities to learn together. This

I believe it is important to consistently reflect on the influence of PBSA on student engagement in higher education

[1] Temple, P. (2018). Space, place and institutional effectiveness in higher education. Policy Reviews in Higher Education, p. 1-18. [2] Astin, A. W., Astin, H. S., & Lindholm, J. A. (2010). Cultivating the spirit: How college can enhance students’ inner lives. John Wiley & Sons.

reflected what the term residential education meant at Stanford. Learning didn’t just occur in formal academic environments. Rather, learning occurred across spaces and places, formal and informal, academic and nonacademic, within and between groups living and working together across the institution. This extends our conceptualisation of the stated purpose and functions of PBSA in the lives of students. While aspirational, and no doubt without a number of critiques, it sets out the value and values associated with the function and purpose of student residential life within an institutions’ vision and mission for its provision of higher education. While Stanford provided a number of opportunities to develop my understanding of student residences and student engagement, equally, it raised a number of questions for me. I pursued those questions further when I moved to London to study student residential accommodation and student engagement. STOP THREE: London, England (United Kingdom) Stop three reflects on my study of student residential accommodation for student engagement in higher education. In exploring student residential accommodation and student engagement I encountered substantial existing literature and research directly and indirectly addressing the influence of PBSA on students, institutions and the wider community. Scholars continue to reflect on the influence of student residential TREND REPORT 2019


accommodation (i.e. PBSA, fit for purpose student residential accommodation) on student experience in higher education, institutions, towns, cities and beyond. In particular, there is a growing interest in understanding the ‘local’ factors influencing what a number of scholars have framed as a ‘global’ phenomenon (i.e. PBSA). Cases of study in the US, UK and Europe form much of the existing literature and research on student residential accommodation. As Thomsen (2008)[3] and Thomsen & Eikemo (2010)[4] alluded to in their research on student satisfaction and preference in student residential accommodation, study of PBSA (i.e. catered/non-catered, lighting, room size, shared bathing/wash facilities, private studio flats, multipurpose rooms, shops for food and cafes) is rising as competition for premium pricing and demand for PBSA is met by interest in understanding the influence of these and other various factors on students’ satisfaction and preferences for PBSA. Similarly, demand for PBSA continues as institutions compete to recruit international and domestic students looking for ‘premium’ quality residential and higher education experiences. While this has driven PBSA to diversify and develop its offerings, it has also had cascading influences on students’ expectations of PBSA. Students use of space within and outside of PBSA has flourished and altered the physical and social dynamics of numerous towns and cities. 50


PBSA can be cocreative places where space, time, experiences and expectations aim towards the surfacing of our plurality, our interdependent learning, developmental nature and inform PBSA for students from our past, into the present and onward towards the future

From streets, to shopping centres, regions and the movement of students within and across national borders, PBSA has become a key influencer on recruitment, retention, access and participation with and in cities and towns such as London. London is a prime example of the influence of PBSA on different areas of a city. From Highgate to King’s Cross, Brixton to Old Spitalfields, Greenwich to South Kensington, PBSA has begun to influence the integration (and disintegration) of areas within the city, rupturing our understanding of where and how students live. Thus, the buildings we build as PBSA are influencing our students’ residential and non- residential patterns of life. Students’ relationships with other residents, local areas and the wider city have become deeply influential, causing a pause, as we take a breath to understand, again and again: what is the purpose and influence of PBSA for students’ residential life?

Looking forward, PBSA will become a key component of housing students, I believe, for longer periods during their participation in higher education. Rather than a tool to facilitate competition and recruitment for students (i.e. first-year, short course international students), PBSA will become a necessary means of retaining students in higher education by mediating their demand for non-PBSA over lengthier periods of students’ time in higher education. With growing consideration for implementing and increasing student fees, cost of attendance in higher education throughout Europe may be on the cusp of major shifts in accessibility and participation. Thus, PBSA will become a key component for policymakers, providers, practitioners, and, local, regional, national, international and globally recruiting institutions to continue to retain students in the next five to ten years.

STOP FOUR: Into some probabilities and possibilities (Europe) Moving beyond our present experience and into the shifting landscape of Europe, I note providing students ‘somewhere to live’ was not historically a part of the provision of a university (and non- university) education in many European countries. Rather, students organised their own residential accommodation outside of the remit of the institutions. Now, in cities like Amsterdam, student demand for housing is having a seismic influence on the supply, demand and distribution of housing. One need only do a Google search using the key terms: student housing, Amsterdam, news, to realise the extent to which students’ demand for housing has outpaced the supply of student housing, and, housing more generally. As a number of scholars and commentators have noted, finding housing in the Netherlands is demanding. And, as a student, you are provided guidance but no guarantee of housing by institutions[5]. This trend of trailing supply and growing student demand appears a consistent issue, and PBSA drives the debate of where, and how, ‘somewhere for students to live’ sits in relation to the broader social and physical milieu of towns and cities throughout the European continent.

STOP FIVE: Imagining PBSA as a transformative space and place After a whistle-stop tour, some time to reflect on where we have been and where we imagine ourselves going. I have proposed PBSA as ’somewhere for students to live’ is a key component of our definitions and understanding of what a higher education is, and, what it means to be a student in higher education. Supply, demand and distribution of PBSA continues to be a key driver for student access, participation, recruitment and retention across local, regional, national, international and now global contexts of higher education. As such, I believe it is important to consistently reflect on the influence of PBSA on student engagement in higher education. Can PBSA generate opportunities, inspiring students rather than containing and controlling our constructions of them? Moreover, PBSA are places where divergent and often contested expectations of ‘home’ and community come into tension. Therefore, it is key to the development of PBSA and student engagement that we revisit these places with an eye towards understanding their open, dynamic and evolving nature. As we look forward, let us ask bigger and better questions about the potential for PBSA to transform our students’ experiences of

[3] Thomsen, J. (2008). Student housing–student homes. Aspects of Student Housing Satisfaction. PhD, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Trondheim, Norway. [4] Thomsen, J., & Eikemo, T. A. (2010). Aspects of student housing satisfaction: a quantitative study. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 25(3), p. 273-293. [5] University of Amsterdam (2018) Electronic resource. Retrieved from: http://www.uva.nl/en/ education/master-s/practicalmatters/housing/housing.html. Accessed on: 04/08/2018.

‘somewhere to live’. PBSA can be co-creative places where space, time, experiences and expectations aim towards the surfacing of our plurality, our interdependent learning, developmental nature and inform PBSA for students from our past, into the present and onward towards the future. My hope for the future of PBSA as places to generate and inspire reflective and reflexive staff, students and communities. After all, when our students leave PBSA, where and how will they carry their experiences into their own adventures and journey ‘Home’?




The impact of technology on student loneliness services, and Internet connected devices) is neither all good nor all bad when it comes to this issue. WHY IT MATTERS In the UK, almost half of students admit to experiencing loneliness during their time at university. Globally the figure is almost a third, and in a Student Minds survey, loneliness was listed as one of the top ten challenges students face. A study in Germany found that 17% of people aged 18-29 are constantly or often lonely, with only 1 in 10 saying they never felt lonely. Feelings of loneliness matter because, while not a mental health problem in itself, loneliness does increase the risk of developing a mental health problem like anxiety, depression, addiction or even suicidal thoughts. Students who report being lonely are also more likely to consider dropping out impacting their future prospects, as well as the outcomes of universities and accommodation providers.

Some things about today’s students are very clear. They require instant access to fast, high capacity Internet - and more specifically WiFi. What is less clear is the impact technology is having on how lonely or isolated they feel, and what support is available to them to help them manage these feelings. 52


To explore the subject, ASK4 commissioned extensive research and interviews with colleagues at Student Minds, Nightline, the University Mental Health Advisors Network and the Big White Wall, all of whom agreed that technology (and by that we mean Internet-based apps and

Concerns over the possible negative impacts of technology on the younger generation have been well documented, including mobile phone addiction, cyberbullying and poor face-to-face social skills. There is also a common conception that ‘being online’ is in itself isolating. However, recent research also suggests that time spent online may in part be the result of loneliness, rather than the cause, and that young people are using technology to deal with loneliness by making new connections and accessing support.

Here are some of the ways we found technology is having a positive impact on combating student loneliness. 1. Technology enables organisations to raise awareness and reach more students with relevant, age appropriate information and support. On University Mental Health Day, the University Mental Health Advisors Network was able to reach 23 million people on Twitter. You can only achieve that kind of reach online. 2. Technology enables timely and easy access to support. It might be no surprise to hear that 90% of Big White Wall users log on outside of 9am – 5pm. Big White Wall is a community site that allows users to share what’s troubling them in a safe and anonymous environment, with clinically trained wall guides online 24/7. 3. Technology offers a valid means of providing primary support to those with milder symptoms of loneliness or distress. Of the 5 million people who suffer depression every year in the UK, 80% are in the mild to moderate category. 4. The ability to share while remaining anonymous attracts students who would not otherwise seek support. Over two thirds of Big White Wall users shared their issues there for the first time because they could do so anonymously.

OPPORTUNITIES There is evidence that students respond well to the use of Facebook groups as discussion forums and that it can improve the learning experience. However, there is also resistance on the part of institutions to using social media to augment the learning process due to its informal nature and concerns over moderation, tracking and accountability. While there are examples of institutions using these tools to connect students, it also remains one of the biggest opportunities for future development. Additional opportunities include: 1. Further research into the root causes of loneliness in young people. While the use of technology is often cited as a cause, it also brings numerous benefits and cannot be the only contributing factor. More in depth, holistic studies are required to gain more conclusive answers.

3. The development of more information and support resources tailored towards university students. DIGITAL FUTURES To conclude, we end where we began. The impact of technology on loneliness amongst students is not all good or all bad. But one thing is certain. Technology is not about to disappear. Websites, apps, forums, smart devices, social media, YouTube - it is all part of how today’s students and future students engage with the world, and a way in which they make and sustain personal connections. So, while technology should never be viewed as the only tool, there are significant opportunities for developing tools and strategies for managing the negative impacts and building upon the positives to actively combat loneliness amongst students. To download the full report, including references, visit: www.ask4.com/connectedliving.

2. The development of student specific digital communities where lifestyle is not the core topic, and where honesty about life’s ups and downs is encouraged.

5. Technology can enable students to maintain existing relationships and forge new ones. Facebook groups, discussion forums, video conferencing and WhatsApp groups can all help develop inclusive communities, even before courses begin. Many accommodation operators are already using their websites, apps and Facebook groups to build residence communities and share notifications for events and socials. TREND REPORT 2019



RESIDENCE LIFE Shaping communities towards positive mental health Rebecca O’Hare, Head of Residence Life, Campus Living Villages

In recent years, the prevalence of mental health issues amongst UK students has not gone unnoticed. It has been widely published by the media, and Universities have documented a steady growth in the number of students seeking support or presenting with minor or major mental health worries. The university experience or the umbrella term of ‘student experience’ is often the sole focus for government or vice chancellors when discussing where improvements may be made. However, there is often minimal focus on the positive impact a supportive student accommodation environment can have and the multitude of student journey elements accommodation teams are exposed to on a daily basis.

As you would expect, for those working in the accommodation sector, student mental health has become an increasing concern. Many have implemented learning and development initiatives to help their teams recognise early warning signs in order to signpost their residents to the appropriate student services. Others have invested further by working closely with organisations such as Student Minds to assist in defining what their role is in supporting students with mental health concerns and using their expertise to shape their support offering. Small changes can assist in steering students away from the expectations and behaviours that could lead to poor mental health. Nudge principles can be used to direct students towards behaviours or modes of thinking that satisfy their fundamental needs. This can include decorating the accommodation environment to set a productive first impression of university life and to highlight the support available to new students. One of the most common reasons new students become alienated and/or isolated in student accommodation is because they don’t feel engaged by the traditional ‘drinking and party’ culture which seems to be a big focus of many welcome week activities. Often, students moving into new accommodation are greeted by posters and leaflets for activities or alcohol drink deals. It sets a clear precedent that this is what the university experience is about, and the yardstick they should judge it by. As a result, it can be a common source of anxiety for new students that they don’t feel they are living up to the glamorised images of university as a non-stop party often promoted by brands and club nights on social media. Research suggests that one of the strongest influences on a student’s wellbeing is how they engage with their subject. Those who do just as much as they need to in order to pass, typically have poorer wellbeing than those who deeply engage with their subject for the love of it. Presenting accommodation, so that the messages and images a new student will be greeted by, emphasise that they are starting a journey of learning and



self-betterment, and inviting them to imagine where they could be at the end of it, is an important first step. Other measures, such as designing quiet spaces for those students to practise deep engagement, are also key for fostering an environment where more can approach their learning with passion. Setting an impression that they are living somewhere where support and help is not only readily available, but encouraged is vital too. This requires going beyond putting up a single token poster of support contacts for students in need. Instead, it’s important to use the opportunity to promote best mental health practice that many students are not aware of. For example, students should seek professional help as a first resort if they think they may have a mental health issue, and that they know ‘it’s ok, not to be okay’. Imparting that message is key because many students feel they should only seek help if they are certain they have an issue. This can be executed via more artistic and interventionist methods. Our Picturing Mental Health project features portrait photography of students and sound recordings of their own personal mental health experiences. The goal is to encourage positive conversations around mental health amongst students, and to help tackle the stigma. It’s generated a remarkable response so far because, to the viewing student, it is relatable. When you see someone who looks and sounds like you, you can empathise, relate more and understand

that their experience is coming from a place of trust. It’s students speaking to students. Campus Living Village’s approach, through our Resident Life model ‘Village Life’, is to ensure that a consistent, broad and appealing calendar of activities and campaigns matched to each Village demographic is successfully delivered each year. Aligned to our global Live, Learn, Grow philosophy, positive mental health and wellbeing is not an adhoc one day event, or a weeklong festival of activity. It’s a reoccurring, every day conversation that is subtly delivered via many interactions. The community building component of Resident Life models are non-invasive methods of checking in, and when planned well, they can be accessible to many residents and not just those who feel comfortable in social situations.

One of the most common reasons new students become alienated and/or isolated in student accommodation is because they don’t feel engaged by the traditional ‘drinking and party’ culture which seems to be a big focus of many welcome week activities

There is no single solution to resolving the mental health issues currently being experienced by our young people. However with the establishment of our Mental Wellbeing Strategic Group, our award winning Village Life programme, combined with our efforts to continuously place student mental health at the forefront of our operations, we believe we are making great strides to ensure the experience of living with us, holistically contributes towards improving the wider student and university experience. TREND REPORT 2019


Students are constantly evolving. They are digital natives, choose to spend money on experiences over material items, and are increasingly socially conscious. Brands must adapt and innovate if they want to appeal to this generation.

Creating a new


The Nido Collection regularly reviews and evolves its brand. After significant research and analysis of today’s students, key trends and requirements stood out. These are at the heart of Nido Student, our new student-focused subbrand, which has a fresh identity and offering as well as values that together reflect the needs and ambitions of students today. We know that they are, amongst other things, individual, savvy, demanding, aspirational, independent, intelligent and creative. They are not homogenous, and nor should their accommodation be. They want a complete and inspirational student experience which allows them to fulfil their potential. Nido Student Nido Student is urban, smart, and created for today’s students - it’s a home and a lifestyle that inspires them and helps them to build a real community. Community We create a community in each of our residences, and across our global portfolio. We know every student needs a safe, comfortable environment to live in, but that’s just the start of it. What makes their student experience memorable and supports their development for the short and longer term are the friendships and networks that are made. Nido’s year-round experiential programme facilitates and nurtures this. It focuses on social interaction, wellbeing, learning, career and lifestyle events and activities, tailored to suit our residents’



interests, needs and ambitions throughout their time with us. The Nido app has been designed for residents to communicate easily with staff and each other via instant messaging, community forums and resident interest groups, in addition to more practical applications such as logging maintenance requests and receiving parcel and building notifications, ensuring that every resident can actively be a part of the Nido Student community. Wellbeing The wellbeing of our residents is paramount. The Nido Student team are experienced, friendly and strive to provide excellent service and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They get to know each student personally to ensure they feel comfortable and at home in our residences. Our experiential programme includes fitness classes, yoga, meditation, and stress relief activities and advice to assist with both mental and physical wellbeing. We create supportive, inclusive environments which allow our residents to thrive. Nido Student also actively contributes to local charities and to the local community. This enables

our residents to positively impact on society and the wellbeing of others. Fulfil potential Nido empowers its students. We want to help students maximise their time with us, and carefully select local, national and international brand partners so our residents can enjoy exclusive discounts and events. We also run workshops with entrepreneurs, cooking classes with renown chefs, CV and interview masterclasses, and our very own legendary Nido Fest featuring renowned DJs and artists.

Students are also invited to work with us in our residences. They gain valuable work experience, and influence everything we do. This ensures we are always meeting their changing needs. Sustainability Nido Student is committed to making a positive impact on the world however we can. We supply our residents with bags for life, reusable coffee cups and water bottles to limit the use of plastic and its negative impact on the environment. We issue e-contracts to reduce paper usage and run recycling initiatives and campaigns to minimise energy and water consumption. We also get involved with community clean-up projects and encourage our students and staff to walk or cycle. Collectively the Nido Student community can make a significant difference. Nido Student buildings may vary, but our core offer is the same – we help to create inspiring homes and communities for students, so that they can better fulfil their potential and accomplish more during their time with us and into their exciting future. TREND REPORT 2019


Future Living





MINI Living Shanghai

Co-living is “not just for ‘alternative’ types, or simply a last resort for those who can’t afford to buy on their own. Instead, it is as diverse as the individuals who live in it,” said architect Je Ahn.

Co-living is experiencing a boom in cities around the world. With pressures on space and shifts in lifestyle among the under 40s, shared housing is becoming an increasingly attractive option, combining private space with communal facilities and, in some cases, access to unique events.

Community living is not a new idea, but coliving is moving away from the old image of the commune and creating a way of living that has mainstream appeal. Here, we explore some recent examples of different approaches to co-living from around the world, from a townhouse that combines shared living with co-working, to membership networks, co-housing, and modular sheds that are bringing new life to empty buildings.

WeLive, the co-living organisation launched by co-working giant WeWork, is one of the best-known developers and is planning to add a new residence in Seattle to its already successful properties in Washington DC and New York, while The Collective, dubbed “the world’s largest co-living complex” opened in London earlier this year. Much of the conversation around co-living has been dominated by the idea that millennials are less interested in permanence and have been forced out of the conventional property market. But two recent reports suggest that the motivations and age-range for co-living are much broader.


INNOVATIONS IN CO-LIVING Anna Winston is an award-winning editor, writer and curator. She is a former editor of Dezeen and Bdonline. 60


Space 10, IKEA’s Copenhagen-based innovation laboratory, launched a mass survey to find out what the future of co-living might look like and found that most co-livers are primarily attracted to the model as it creates new ways of socialising, rather than for financial or geographical reasons. Space 10 suggests this reflects a major cultural shift in many cities, with young people increasingly choosing to stay single and real-life social networks shrinking, despite the rise of social media, leading to record levels of loneliness in both younger and older generations.

Robinhood, Berlin By Dennis Prinz for Robinhood The creators of the Robinhood project call it the first “Pod Living Space” in Berlin. Named after the historic figure who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, the objective is to reclaim industrial space and empty buildings for affordable co-living by inserting private, soundproof sleeping pods alongside “five star” communal spaces, like kitchens, gardens, pools and saunas.

The pods are designed by Robinhood’s founder, Dennis Prinz – also founder of Berlin co-working space Enklave – who will unveil three prototypes for members to vote on in September. The modular design means the company could potentially transform a space Living Closer, a new report from the Royal into a co-living community in a matter of Institute of British Architects and architecture weeks. Residents of Robinhood will pay less firm Studio Wave, has also suggested that than the market rent for a room in a shared the introduction of a wide range of co-living apartment and more than 1,000 people have models could help with both rising levels of already registered for membership. The team loneliness and also the increasing need to hope that the first development in Berlin will assisted living for ageing populations, as well open this year inside a former bank. as pressures on housing availability in cities. robinhood.berlin TREND REPORT 2019


Garden House, London By Teatum + Teatum for Noaiscape

The Shed Project, London By Studio Bark for Lowe Guardians

Garden House is the latest co-living project from Noaiscape, a specialist developer founded by architects Tom and James Teatum with the objective of developing an “infrastructure for urban renting” across London. Noiascape follows a ‘community’ model, where members have access to a variety of unique spaces scattered around the city.

The Shed is a concept for creating mini homes inside larger, shared buildings managed by Lowe Guardians, which specialises in property ‘guardianships’, where renters pay a belowmarket average for a space inside an empty or abandoned building, like a warehouse or old office black, to help protect it from squatters and vandals.

An old mews house in west London has been redesigned internally with a series of interconnected living spaces made using contemporary materials. Bedrooms are located on the ground floor, so that informal work and relaxation spaces are close to the new roof terrace. The focus is on flexibility, so the house can accommodate a single family, couple or a small group of sharers, but the overarching goal is to encourage younger residents to spend more time at home, after the architects found that millennials were spending just 17 per cent of their waking day at home. noiascape.com

Shared dining space at Life X

Life X, Copenhagen and Berlin LifeX was founded by product developers Ritu Jain and Sune Theodorsen in Copenhagen in 2017, after they moved to the city and struggled to find somewhere to live that didn’t involve long-term commitments and having to buy furniture. They now run a collection of apartments in Copenhagen and a new residence in Berlin, with a focus on helping newcomers with relocation. “We know from experience that moving to a new country is a lot of work, can be expensive and most importantly quite lonely since you don’t know anyone,” said Jain. “Our mission is to make this experience what it should be – a great start to new adventure – by helping with all the practicalities of moving, along with a fully serviced flexible housing subscription.”

Interconnected living spaces at Garden House



Despite the pressure for more affordable residential space, London is home to a large number of empty buildings, many of which are difficult to convert into housing suitable for guardians. London architecture firm Studio Bark designed The Shed housing modules based on the archetype of the garden shed. Each one can be built in a day using a mallet and drill, and is made from oriented strand board, insulated using lambs wool. They can be easily relocated when the buildings are redeveloped. According to Lowe Guardians, the target audience are young professionals. loweguardians.com

Each apartment is fully kitted out in Danish style thanks to an ongoing collaboration with the influential design brand HAY. Residents have generously-sized private bedrooms, as well as shared living and dining spaces. joinlifex.com

MINI Living, Shanghai Designers to be announced Announced by car brand MINI in November, MINI Living Shanghai represents the company’s first major leap into co-living property development. It brings together research developed during a series of popup, concept projects around the world by various architects, each with a focus on maximising small spaces. MINI Living Shanghai is being built with developer Nova Property Investment Co in the Jing’An district. It will transform a cluster of six existing buildings to create living spaces that will be available to families and single people as well as groups of sharers on a variety of leases. The idea is to use shared spaces to offset the relatively small size of the apartments, with practical services like cleaning available to book, as well as gardens, exhibition spaces, a food market and shops and restaurants that will integrate the development into the life of the city. mini.com

The Shed housing module



BEST STUDENT CITY European Ranking 2018


Affordability City Life Social Inclusiveness City Environment Connectivity Study Experience


Today there are more mobile students than ever before, both on Erasmus or pursuing a full degree. For these digital natives there is a lot to choose from and compare. The Class of 2020’s Best Student City ranking offers insight into Europe’s most attractive university-cities. What is influencing the choice behaviour of mobile students? We have put great emphasis on the study experience (university ranking, share international students, share English taught programmes, start-up density) and affordability (tuition, housing, meals, drinks, public transport), combined with an open social fabric and dynamic city life. For this ranking we studied 35 indicators divided into 6 categories, each of them representing a fundamental characteristic of the best student city. These 35 indicators were sourced from specific rankings and recognised international datasets. We considered each city’s size and population before normalizing the results and giving them a weight. Find the full ranking at: www.theclassof2020.org 64




De Werf, Amsterdam Left-page: Sluishuis, Amsterdam


Affordability In the Netherlands you put a cap on the rent growth for your residential properties. Why did you make that decision? We are involved in the ongoing discussion about affordable housing. We have looked at what we can do with our present housing stock. We decided in 2018 to raise the rents of our non-rent controlled properties by no more than inflation plus 1%. We are also looking at lowering the income requirements for our rental properties, so that more people will be eligible to live in them. But structural solutions to solve the shortage of mid-market rentals do not lie in the existing housing stock. There is a major shortage of mid-market rental property in the Netherlands, particularly in urban



areas. As Bouwinvest, we want to help resolve this situation. We are taking measures to ensure our current portfolio remains accessible. But, ultimately, adding more homes across the board is the only way to structurally ensure there are sufficient affordable homes. In consultation with our clients, the investors in our Dutch residential Fund, we decided to put a cap on the rent growth for this year. This is to give us time to work on an internal policy on rent growth for the coming years, which we can discuss with our clients this December during our Annual shareholders meeting.

Marleen Bosma - Verhaegh Head of Global Research & Strategic Advisory at Bouwinvest. Bouwinvest is specialised in managing real estate portfolios for institutional investors.

Why is affordable housing important to Bouwinvest? Bouwinvest started investing in property in 1952. Since then, we have built up a major residential portfolio in the Netherlands’ central urban belt, mainly in Amsterdam. We currently have over 22,000 homes under management and in our pipeline. More than 50% is made up of mid-market properties, with a rent of between €710 and €1,000 per month. We invest in pension and insurance premiums and so we take a long-term view. Our investments last 20 years or more and we are involved on the ground in the areas we invest in. Like local authorities and housing corporations, we benefit from the presence of liveable and inclusive districts, with a complete range of rental properties. These are the areas where people want to live and work, both now and in the future. And these are also the areas which offer our clients the best option for a stable return, to make sure they can pay pensions into the future as well. But in the end we always look at the right balance between financial and societal returns. We have our responsibility to ensure the benefits of the pensioners and their future income.

How did you align your stakeholders? We discuss items/ themes like this with our clients during formal and informal moments we create to involve our clients in the decision making process, moments like bi-annual meetings, property tours, quarterly conference calls etc. Our clients are mainly Dutch pension Funds, who are very much aware of the ongoing discussion on affordability and inclusive city’s and are responsible investors. Are you also planning to do this in other countries, or do you see opportunities to do so? If we can. In the Netherlands we invest directly and manage the assets in the Funds. Decision like these are within our span of control. Abroad we use various vehicles to invest, we try to influence our partners but in the end it’s not just our decision. We take our responsibility in this seriously but our means are limited Are there other ways Bouwinvest is trying to keep housing affordable? Yes we are doing pilots inAmsterdam on assigning mid-segment housing to mid-incomes. This mid- income related approach for mid-segment homes is new to us so we have to see if this works in the intended way. Especially over a longer period. It may create new problems. For instance what will we do if the income of the tenant is outgrowing this segment. These things we need to work out.

We decided in 2018 to raise the rents of our non-rent controlled properties by no more than inflation plus 1%



outside as well as in the corners, a curved acroterion, high or wide windows and are surrounded by trees.

Proposed by Nantes Métropole administration, the The construction was constrained by a shared YHNOVA project piece of land located between two existing is breaking new collective buildings. This helped to impose ground. It will be the significant vis-à-vis and protected an open first real experiment space that we decided to preserve. The carried out within architect proposed to take advantage of the framework of the possibilities offered by BatiPrint3DTM the Nantes City Lab, construction principles. This allowed the that aims to facilitate house to have large curved shapes, utilising collaborative the available space and allowing tenants innovations to to enjoy the view of the garden and trees imagine and build by avoiding visual constraints with wellthe City of positioned openings. the Future The YHNOVA home Right-page: The mobile and poly-articulated robot in action

Nantes Métropole is a dynamic and attractive place. Its population is going to increase by 5,000 inhabitants per year for the next ten years. In order to promote access to housing for all, Nantes Métropole has put in place a well-managed, affordable housing policy and is giving itself the means to produce a sustainable, mixed and diversified city. The Metropolis has an ambitious production target of 6,000 housing units per year, including 2,000 social housing units and 1,300 affordable units. Since 2006, the cost per square metre for social housing has increased by 31%. On average, a new house currently costs 130,000 euros (5.5% VAT). Faced with rising construction prices, the Metropolis has initiated an innovative study on ways to reduce production costs. This reflection is part of a sustainable approach for a smart and relevant city, which in the end, will contain the exit prices of operations. New technologies have a strong impact on the world of construction. From BIM to additive manufacturing and modular prefabrication; the aim of the Metropolis is to work with groups of experts on solutions that reconcile lower costs, sustainable development and urban quality. A part of this work has resulted in YHNOVA experiment. 68



YHNOVA the first social public housing built in France by a 3D printer robot Francky Trichet, vice president of digital technology at the University of Nantes and deputy mayor of the city Nantes. Benoît Furet, professor at University of Nantes.

The YHNOVA project is based on the concept of BatiPrint3Dtm and is developed by University of Nantes. It couples a new construction principle with customizable robotised systems, made for building individual houses and small-scale buildings. This advanced technology requires installing a triple wall of 3D-printed materials using a mobile and poly-articulated robot: two polymer-foam printed walls are used to encase a third wall made of concrete. Once the walls are in place, the foam is maintained to provide an internal and external insulation to the house without resorting to thermal bridges. The trajectories of the robot follow the digital model designed for the habitat. To begin the construction, the robot is directly put on the pave so that it can easily move and print the walls. Once a building is finished, the robot comes out through one of the openings it created. It can then be transported onto another concrete slab or to another site to build new projects.

Coupled with its reliability and insulation, the curves make this housing concept both modern and traditional. The houses are in perfect harmony with their surroundings and the building process fully respects their environment. The thermal performances achieved by the walls are 30 to 40% higher than the best standards practiced in current traditional construction. The construction process (50 hours to build all the walls), relying on digital and robotics technologies, reduces hardness for hand workers. This brings the building and construction sector, which often encounters difficulties to recruit (especially among young people) into a new and positive light. The principles and the systems that are put in place reduce the costs of production by circa 20%, compared to the cost of traditional methods involving insulated walls with isoforms and isoperformance. The new inhabitants of the YHNOVA home are the world’s first family to live in a 3D printed house. The family with 3 children previously lived in a traditional social building and moved to the YHNOVA home in late June. They appreciate the thermal and acoustic comfort of the house as well as its shape and its integration with the garden. The next step could be the construction of a peri-urban subdivision in which each house will take a unique form by adapting to the needs of the inhabitants, the land, trees, sun, neighbours… Ultimately optimising life in the city.

Nantes Métropole has an ambitious production target of 6,000 housing units each year:

YHNOVA is the first industrial use of BatiPrint3Dtm principles to build standard social public housing projects. They are single-story units of 95sqm (1,022sqft) with four-bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, an open kitchen and a pantry. This is public housing that resembles the look and feel of “designer homes.” They boast large curves on the TREND REPORT 2019



Chinese Student Preferences Frederick Leclercq, Uhomes. Uhomes is a global long-term booking platform in China.

It’s no secret that student housing providers love having Chinese students. They generally pay quickly and in full, sleep early, don’t drink a lot and rarely have complaints. So, then the important question is: what are Chinese students looking for when they choose their student accommodation? UK

SOURCE: Unesco

Germany France Italy







The notion that Chinese students have bottomless pockets for rent is dispelled by the often strict adherence to this budget. We are seeing more Chinese students willing to find private landlords than in previous years, often as a direct result of budget questions

Budget China just surpassed 800 million internet users, adopting the internet more broadly and in more depth than any other country in the world. In our industry, this means that students can be incredibly well informed about the student accommodation market, and often are informed about budget before booking. Students heading to London, for example, will know from simple online searches and forums that circa £250/week is a workable budget for the capital. The notion that Chinese students have bottomless pockets for rent is dispelled, as they often adhere to this budget. We are seeing more Chinese students willing to find private landlords than in previous years, often as a direct result of their insights on budget. Whilst students are able to get a clear idea of budgets and housing options from the world wide web, more specific details are harder to come by. London - to continue the example - has a huge number of universities, many different areas, and a myriad of accommodations. This means that students may well have a very strict budget they can stick to, but they need assistance in finding the accommodation that suits their university and other needs. En-suite is King Not sharing a bathroom is probably the biggest requirement we have found for a Chinese student (As an interesting side note from the author of this articles: he moved to



China to study and showered in a giant room with more than 100 other students). Across the UK, 87% of all Chinese students want to live in a room that has its own bathroom. Within this, more than 80% would prefer an en-suite room over a studio. Room Size Rooms in student accommodations are notoriously small. Our exit interviews show that more than two thirds of Chinese students were surprised at just how small their room was. It could be however, that the sizes of rooms for student accommodation are following the mobile phone trend – getting smaller and smaller and smaller, before getting larger. Since Chinese students are more concerned with the room itself rather than communal facilities, rooms could become larger by sacrificing communal areas that often get little use. Facilities As mentioned above, the driving factor for Chinese students is the room itself, studying plays are large role in this. Masters students in particular require peace and quiet to make the most of their, undeniably, expensive education. Quiet corridors or masters-only corridors are increasingly popular. A spacious room and a reasonably sized desk feature highly on the list of a Chinese student needs, as well as the possibility to study in designated study areas. Whilst apartment facilities are not generally a key consideration over the room itself, there is one facility that gets a lot of attention: a gym. 67% of all bookings listed this as a requirement, despite only 35% of all UK student accommodations having a fitness centre. Universities The university a student goes to plays a huge role in what accommodation is chosen. The premise for this is incredibly simple: the closer to the university the better. Our research finds 30 minutes as a benchmark for travel time, by foot or by public transport, so location does not always need to be within a stone’s throw of the university itself. Prospective students may need some explanation on transport as to the benefit of certain bookings.

CASE STUDY Studio Couples: How do you define a couple? A question: how do you define a relationship, or more specifically a couple? It is normal for Chinese people, and girls in particular, to share a double bed in a room when renting a property. However, one student provider found this violated their policy of only allowing couples to share studios. It raised some serious questions for the provider. Firstly, how do you define a couple? Secondly, can you ask a couple about the intimacies of their relationship? And thirdly, is it ethical to ask people about how their relationship works and deny them a studio room if it does not fit your definition of what a couple should be… For student accommodation providers, it is worth clarifying your policy, and making sure it is very obvious to potential tenants just exactly what the definition of a couple is.

The size of rooms for student accommodation could be following the mobile phone trend – getting smaller and smaller and smaller before getting larger. Perhaps as space is sacrificed from communal areas that often get little use, especially from Chinese students whose requirements focus on the room itself over and above the communal facilities

For example, where despite the greater distance from the university, the easier and faster transport links make option B more attractive than option A. Undoubtedly, we are able to see that certain universities are more popular than others. This is as much to do with the importance of reputation within China as anything else. But across the UK certain universities may surprise you as popular destinations to study. The numbers will tell you the current number of Chinese students, but if you only look at these numbers you will always be one year behind the trend. University plans and incentives including scholarships are just as important to future demand. TREND REPORT 2019


SWFs carry the burden of “sovereignness”, and the fears raised by recipient countries on the ultimate investment goal of SWFs. These fears of politically motivated actions and the lack of recognized legitimacy in the financial arena, led SWFs to the publication of the Santiago Principles back in 2008. Ten years later, multiple SWFs are recognized as sophisticated, long-term and active deal makers.


STUDENTS OF 2020 Studying by the poolside


Luxurious high-tech student residences have mushroomed in several European cities, and have grabbed the attention of young Millennials and Generation Z alike. From exclusive dinner rooms to state-of-the-art security and concierge services, the students of 2020 are sure to live their best life in the most all-inclusive accommodation options to date.

admit they would like to live in either a loft or a villa if money weren’t an issue to them. While the third-highest result - living in a hotel - could seem like a surprise, it ceases to be so when looking at the amount of students who would choose cleaning (28%), food and drink (16%), massage therapist (16%) and personal trainer (14%) as in-house luxury services.

In a survey run by Uniplaces in July 2018, when asked what they would add to their flat if given the choice, over 65% of more than 1150 students in Europe would choose a swimming pool, followed closely by 24% who would highly appreciate a gym to keep in shape. Not far behind, an additional 15% would love a home theatre of their own.

While student housing preferences justify growing investments in high-tech residences, one simple factor still holds true for students who live in shared flats: an alarming number of them still live without utility bills included in their monthly rent. Almost 40% of respondents would prefer that they were, even if it meant paying a little more in rent. Residences are becoming more accessible to students, and quickly turning the perfect flat into reality: an all-inclusive experience where one only really needs to leave when going to class.

In fact, more than 20% of students in both Italy and Portugal admit to wanting a smart home. This appreciation for modern spaces is no surprise, especially when almost 70%

Javier Capapé PhD, Director, Sovereign Wealth Research, Center for the Governance of Change, IE University


SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL SWF investments in student accommodation

Sovereign wealth funds love long-term investments and real assets, and their investment strategy can be defined as patient capital. This particular group of governmentowned institutional investors have no obligations to return money to limited partners (as in the case of private equity or hedge funds). Furthermore, sovereign funds are different from their cousins, public pension funds, due to the lack of explicit liabilities as pension funds need to hold a portion of their portfolios in liquid positions in order to pay pensioners at the end of each period. 72


In the last 10 years, SWFs have also evolved notably. Over the last decade, SWFs have increased their allocations into private markets. Alternative asset classes such as real estate, venture capital, private equity or infrastructure, have attracted the interest of these giant investors. At the end of 2007, private markets represented a mere 9% of their total assets under management; nowadays, this figure nears 30% of total assets worth US$8 trillion[1]. SWFs are keen to capture secular economic trends. As their investment horizon is technically inexistent, certain SWFs are happy investing in assets that will increase their value in the coming decades. Thus, niche sectors like logistics real estate have attracted sovereign wealth. The logics of a permanent shift in consumer behavior towards e-commerce, makes warehouses more strategic than ever. The same reasoning applies to retirement homes in aging economies such as New Zealand or Australia, consumer staples in emerging markets such as India or Vietnam, and climate-related investments in Europe. In line with long-term investment trends, SWFs have ventured in recent years in the student accommodation niche sector. Over the last 4 years, three SWFs have invested over US$6.6bn in student housing in campuses along Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the United States[2]. Sovereign wealth funds have quadrupled their investment in student housing in a bet on the growth of wealthier middle classes in emerging economies who want to send their children to study abroad. According to the latest figures from the Sovereign Wealth Research program at IE University in Madrid, investment in student accommodation in the US and Europe has gone from (less than) 4% per year of worldwide spending by SWFs TREND REPORT 2019


between 2011 and 2015 to more than 15% in 2016, the latest available figure[3]. The long-term logic is there: only 20 years ago, there were less than one million students travelling overseas to enroll at universities. Today, this figure is beyond 6 million and growing[4]. The growth of the middle-class in India and especially China, is pressing the demand up. Simultaneously, continental Europe, where the oldest universities were founded and which still attracts students globally, remains under supplied in terms of purpose-built student accommodation. Student housing is quite uncorrelated to the economic cycle and thus to other alternative asset classes like infrastructure or office and commercial real estate, and this helps building a diversified portfolio. Moreover, student housing provides an inflation-adjusted resilient and steady income. The challenges reside in the unique leasing cycle of this asset class: those beds unoccupied at the beginning of the academic year will hardly be filled during the duration of the academic year, leading to revenue issues. SWFs have partnered with industry leaders and developers such as Global Student Accommodation (GSA), Unite, Scion or Landmark Properties, to overcome such difficulties. Particularly interesting is the joint-venture established by GIC, a SWF from Singapore, Scion and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), to invest in the field. Since its inception in January 2016, the JV has completed over US$4bn of investments primarily through four significant portfolio transactions in the US. The JV now owns and operates 73 student housing communities in 52 top-tier university markets, comprising 46,555 beds. GIC, who has led the SWFs group in asset classes such as infrastructure, real estate or venture capital, has also partnered with GSA. They both own student halls in the UK and Germany. In 2016, the partnership acquired a 7,150-bed student accommodation portfolio in university cities like Bristol, London, Liverpool, and Cambridge. Prior to this massive acquisition, GIC partnered with Unite, 74


the UK’s leading manager and operator, to acquire 3,067-bed facilities in Aston University, Birmingham. The same year, GIC agreed with GSA on a plan to invest in Germany, the largest tertiary education market in Europe, with close to 3 million students[5]. The portfolio includes 1,000 beds and a pipeline of 1,500 beds, that will target the major university cities in Germany including Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. On its part, Mapletree, the real estate subsidiary of Temasek, another Singaporean SWF, has built a global strong portfolio. In 2017, they established a student accommodationfocused fund which has invested in a portfolio of 35 assets with 14,273 beds located in 22 university cities across the UK and the US. Mapletree’s total student housing portfolio consists of 43 assets with 18,024 beds located across 29 cities in the US, Canada and the UK. As in the case of logistics real estate or venture capital, Singaporean sophisticated funds lead the SWFs pack to new niche subsectors. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, also a reputed diversified investor, joined the group through an alliance with Landmark Properties to invest in 4 major US campuses. Other SWFs from the Middle East, with expertise in real estate and private markets, may follow this trend in the near future, as long as demand for university education remains high and supply of student accommodation continues to be underserved.

INVESTMENTS PER SECTOR SOURCE: IE Business School and ICEX, Sovereign Wealth Fund Report, 2018

Investment in student accommodation in the US and Europe has gone from (less than) 4% per year of worldwide spending by SWFs between 2011 and 2015 to more than 15% in 2016, the latest available figure

[1] IE Business School and ICEX, Sovereign Wealth Fund Report, 2018 [2] Author’s estimates based on GIC, Mapletree websites and media reports. IE Business School and ICEX, [3] Sovereign Wealth Fund Report, 2018, cited in The Economist, Big investors are giving university digs an upgrade, May 10th, 2018. [4] IPE Real Assets (website). 2017. Student Housing: International Studies, quoted Simon Loveridge, Managing Director at Global Student Accomodation, 2017

TSL Marquês de Pombal, Lisbon

[5] Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), Education and Research in Figures 2017, 2018

MARKET UPDATES Technology Real Estate Finance Industry Services Others

SOURCES: Catella, CBRE, Cushman&Wakefield, educations.com, Eurostat, JLL, PropertyEU, QS World University Rankings, Savills, Study.EU, StudyinEurope.eu, Studyportals,



UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) TREND REPORT 2019






BELGIUM Austria has one of the highest shares of international students in Europe. Due to its limited scale, interest from international investors for Austrian PBSA is still low. This year, a change in attitude is on the horizon.



NEW DEVELOPMENTS International Campus is expanding its portfolio by adding 195 single and double apartments in the vicinity of Vienna’s central station. The project, called Wien Hauptbahnhof, is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and will then operate under its brand The Fizz. Silver Living is planning to develop a microcity in Graz, opposite the Graz University of Technology. The project of €31M will include 220 student units and is expected to be delivered in 2022.

EDUCATION AND MOBILITY Starting from the new academic year 2018/2019, students who exceed the standard period of study with more than two semesters will have to start paying tuition fees. Those fees are set on €363.36 per semester. For those who finish their study within this period, studying remains free.

Upgrade Estate started in Gent with the development of Gate Upkot. This student complex of 70 units is expected to be completed in September 2019. In Brussels, Upliving BXL – The Brewery will be developed, as the name indicates, in a former brewery. The delivery of the 107 units is expected to be completed in 2020. The student complex Ten Prinsenhove in Antwerp will be renovated by LIFE. After completion in 2020, the I LOVE PRINCE complex will have 160 units. In Liège, LIFE is

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: Germany, Italy & Bosnia Top institutions: Univeristy of Vienna, Vienna University of Technology & Universität Innsbruck Student population: 431,125 International: 70,483 (16.3%) Average domestic course fee: €0 Non-EU: €726 Average monthly PBSA rent: €200-€500 National student housing provision rate: 6%

Shared living space at The Fizz Vienna


going to transform a former technical school into a complex with 250 units. The project is known as I LOVE MECANOO.




With some new dedicated student housing investors, you might get the idea that the Belgium market is very active. While they invest a lot in countries such as The Netherlands, the activity within their own national market remains low.

Upgrade Estate and Profacts conducted a survey amongst more than 1,000 young professionals. Only 16% were interested in shared living. However, there is an interest in shared facilities, such as a shared pick-up point for packages (1/3 of the responds), a point of contact (1/4 of the responds), launderette or multipurpose hall (both 1/5 of the responds). It is also noteworthy that 62% of the respondents indicated that sustainability of their home is important.

In the Flemish part of Belgium, a new tenants decree was introduced (Vlaams Huurdecreet). One of the changes made is that the maximum rental guarantee was increased from 2 to 3 months starting 2019. For people with low income an anonymous, interest-free loan will be introduced. It will also become easier for landlords to terminate long-term contracts, but only in order to renovate the building.

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: France, Netherlands & Luxembourg

Top institutions: KU Leuven, Ghent University & Université Catholique de Louvain Student population: 508,270 International: 61,102 (12%) Average domestic course fee: €0-€837 Non-EU: €0-€837 Average monthly PBSA rent: €200-€450

National student housing provision rate: 11%







Foreseen increase of English programmes caters to rising demand


Top Countries of Origin: Morocco, China & Algeria

Demand for professional student housing in France is on the rise. By 2020, France will have 2,7 million students, compared to 2,5 million that are living there now. Paris, Lyon and Lille are the key student cities. By 2025, the share of international students is expected to increase to 17%, which will create more opportunities for student housing managers.

Top institutions: Université PSL, Ecole Polytechnique & Sorbonne University

Student population: 2,480,186 International: 245,349 (9.9%)

NEW DEVELOPMENTS Harrison Street opened 1,300 beds for the University of Paris-Saclay at the ECLA Campus in Paris. Also in Paris, the CIUP (Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris) has signed for the construction of two student buildings of 300 and 250 units. Plans are to develop a total of 1,800 units among 10 assets by 2025.

Domofrance has launched its Yellome brand, which is dedicated to housing for students and young professionals. They are planning to double their portfolio by 2021, with projects in Pessac (446 beds), Bordeaux (502 beds), Lormont (90 beds) and Cognac (75 beds).

The Student Hotel has plans to open their second location in Paris. The complex with 300 units should open in 2020. Besides this, they are also planning to open a complex with 354 units in Toulouse in 2021.

In Bagnolet, Novaxia is developing the Robespierre complex. The complex will include 219 student housing units.

Kaufman & Broad is developing several complexes. Recently Stud’city was opened in Velizy-Villacoublay (272 units). Other projects include 360 View Tower in Nantes (300 student units; opening in 2019), Élégance in Perreux-sur-Marne (114 student units; opening in 2019) and Lemon in Brest (151 student units; opening in 2020).

TRANSACTION - Greystar has announced

Average domestic course fee: €189-€396 Non-EU: €189-€396 Average monthly PBSA rent: €200-€1,200

National student housing provision rate: 15%

The Student Hotel, Paris

the launch of a new platform in France to acquire and develop PBSA and rental housing. The initial focus will be on Paris, where they will also open an office.


11,7% 11,1%





















IREL AND Copenhagen is an attractive city for international talent, but suffers from a housing shortage. According to Dansk Byggeri this shortage amounts to 8,400 student housing units. In the rest of Denmark there is demand for another 13,600 housing units.


NEW DEVELOPMENTS Denmark’s Minister for Higher Education and Science announced that several measures will be taken in response to the aforementioned research regarding the stay rates of foreign graduates. The main goal being to increase the retention rates of international graduates. For this reason, there will be a reduction in the number of places allotted to international students in programmes where retention rates are low. It is expected that the amount will be reduced by 1,000 to 1,200 places.



Top institutions: University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark & Aarhus University

Average domestic course fee: €0 Non-EU: €6,000-€16,000 Average monthly PBSA rent: €240-€940

National student housing provision rate: 16%

NEW DEVELOPMENTS In July a 228-units student complex was In August, the construction has started for completed at the Schønbergs Allé in a building with 312 units for international Valby, an inner suburb southwest of central students in the northwestern corner of the DTU Copenhagen. The property was acquired by Campus in Lyngby, a suburb of Copenhagen. the DFI European value-add fund. In Aarhus, Delivery is expected for early 2019. KONstruct commissioned NCC to build 235 rental apartments at the Gothenburg Allé. The target for this development is a mix of students and young families. The property was acquired by Europa Capital and Keystone IM. TREND REPORT 2019

According to Cushman & Wakefield some 6,180 student units are under construction in Dublin, of which 2,850 are due to be delivered this year. By far the largest development concerns a two-phase development of 2,118 beds by University College Dublin for its Belfield campus. A 207-unit development of Crosslane in Dublin will be opened in 2019/2020.

Top Countries of Origin: Germany, Norway & Romania

Student population: 314,822 International: 34,034 (10.8%) The Ministry of Education and Science conducted a study on international students. According to this study, 42% of graduates from English-language master’s programs have left Denmark within two years of completing their studies. According to a report of University World News, 26% of the graduates already leave Denmark within 3 months after graduating. About a third remained in the Danish workforce after two years.



Ireland remains a sought-after destination for students and international investors. Students in Dublin suffer from significant daily commutes caused by to the chronic accommodation crisis in the city, despite various new developments.

TRANSACTION Round Hill is planning to invest €1bn in PBSA in Ireland. Other large investors are Blackrock, Cairn Homes and Hines. Hines acquired four student accommodation sites in Dublin for €162m. Besides this, Invesco Real Estate acquired a PBSA development in Dublin. The project, called The Brickworks, was purchased for €47m and will consist of 276 student units. Delivery is expected for July 2019. A joint venture of GSA and Harrison Street acquired four PBSA complexes in Cork and Dublin, with a total of 1,325 beds, for over €200m. In Cork, it concerns a 190unit development near University College Cork that opened in September, and a 413-unit development (delivery expected for 2020). Both buildings will operate under the Uninest Student Residences brand of GSA. The buildings in Dublin concern a 402-unit development adjacent to the Grangegorman campus and another 320-unit development. Both are planned to open in 2019.

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: China, UK & USA

Top institutions: Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin & National Univeristy of Ireland Galway

Student population: 218,411 International: 17,883 (8.2%) Average domestic course fee: €0 Non-EU: €760-€17,900

Average monthly PBSA rent: €400-€1.200 National student housing provision rate: 15.7% TREND REPORT 2019






Steady growth in the dispersed German student accommodation market


Top Countries of Origin: China, India & Russia

In 2017, around €1bn was invested in student housing in Germany, and another €0.5bn already in the first part of 2018. According to a report of CBRE and Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB) 27% of the 500 investors surveyed said they want to expand their involvement, promising a dynamic 2019 for the student housing market.

Top institutions: Technical University of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München & Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg Student population: 3,043,084 International: 244,575 (8.0%)

NEW DEVELOPMENTS According to CBRE, there are around 12,300 dormitories under construction or renovation in Germany, with another 19,500 places planned. The most developments are planned in Berlin and Hamburg, who are – next to Frankfurt - the cities with the greatest shortage. STAYTOO opened its first location in Berlin (154 units) and will open new locations in Mainz (370 units) and Hamburg in the next two years. Studentenwerk Frankfurt is developing around 700 student units, an investment of around €53m. The first phase of 297 units is planned to open in 2020. In addition, there is a restructuring program for 1,308 existing dormitories with an investment volume of €21.3m. BaseCamp opened a complex of 412 student beds in Leipzig and will open 430 student units at the Kampstraße in Dortmund in 2021.

Average domestic course fee: €0 Non-EU: €0

i Live recently opened new properties in Berlin (298 units) and Cologne (286 units), and will open one more in 2018 in Aachen (198 units). New openings are planned for 2019 in Ingolstadt (248 units), Nürnberg (146 units), Heilbronn (180 units), and Schwäbisch Hall (106 units). In 2020, new openings are scheduled for Graz (325 units) and for Hamburg, Essen, Berlin and Schwäbisch Gmünd (approximately 1,000 units in total). The Student Hotel opened 306 rooms in Dresden. Next to this, constructions have started for their location in Berlin. This complex of 475 units is expected to open in 2019. IC Campus is planning to open some projects in 2019 as well: Frankfurt Sommerhoff (332 units), Hamburg Altona (777 units) and München Ludwigsvorstadt (157 units).

Average monthly PBSA rent: €200-€850 National student housing provision rate: 11%

TRANSACTION Brookfield acquired a 79% share of IC Campus for $148m. IC Campus has a portfolio of 11,800 apartments and has plans to grow to 20,000 units. For €330m GSA acquired two mixed-use developments in Berlin with a total of 1,300 student beds, Navale in Hamburg (330 beds) and Urbanum in Frankfurt (270 beds). GSA now has approximately 3,000 student units in Germany.

Harrison Street acquired six student complexes. The portfolio consists of more than 1,000 units in Berlin, Bonn, Kaiserslautern, Leipzig and Nuremberg. The properties will continue to be managed by STAYTOO. CORESTATE and Universal-Investment acquired the Reserl building (271 student units) in Munich. In Hamburg they acquired the WOODIE building (371 student units). Both properties will be operated by UPARTMENTS, part of the CORESATE Group.


Staytoo Apartments Berlin



Foreign students muster to German universities. Five years ago, the government set a goal of having at least 350,000 foreign students enrolled at German universities and colleges by 2020. It has already exceeded that, reaching 359,000 in 2017, according to official figures presented by the Ministry of Education. The main draws for Germany include low tuition fees and the fact that about 1,500 of its 10,000 master’s degree programs are available in English. TREND REPORT 2019





International investments lead the way to better product offering

Camplus Humanitas University Hall, Milan

Already back in 2012, Savills released a report[1] pointing out opportunities for international investors in the Italian student housing market. A low number of beds and private operators made room for these opportunities. On a population of 1,7 million students there were only 50,000 beds in dedicated student accommodation, which corresponds to a provision rate of only circa 3%. And of these 50,000 beds, only 3% was offered by private PBSA providers.


Since then, Italy suffered from a severe debt crisis, which caused an economic downfall and some years of economic stagnation. During these years new student housing developments have been initiated by various foundations (like Fondazione CEUR and Fondazione RUI). A fundamental to the Italian student accommodation market is the strong prevalence for students to live at home during study and the observation that domestic mobile students, moving from south to north for studies, typically find themselves in shared apartments scattered around the city.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS[2] Camplus continues to grow at a rapid pace in Turin, where it will soon be reaching 2,000 beds. They also manage the Mario Luzzatto Student House (240 units) that opened on the campus of the Humanitas University in Pieve Emanuele near Milan. In addition, Camplus will manage 650 units at the Santa Marta campus in Venice that will be completed in 2019, and open in Rome (178 units; delivery expected for 2020) and on two locations in Bologna (95 units; expected to open in 2021).

While Italy is still behind its European peers – not only when it comes to PBSA provision, but also when it comes to the number of English Taught Programmes (ETPs) and university rankings - there has been growing attention from international investors, developers and student housing providers in the last year.

rtmliving, Bologna

[1] Spotlight: Student Housing in Italy, Savills, 2012 [2] Developments have breen crosschecked with the first Observatory on the Italian Student & Hybrid Housing created by Scenari Immobiliari in cooperation with Camplus [3] PNP Paribas, Italy: â‚Ź 3.2 billion invested in commercial properties for the 1st half of 2018, 2018



Bologna is in the spotlight for other Italian investors and developers. Just this October rtmliving opened a new location in Bologna with 192 units. DoveVivo is also active in this market, as well as Milan, Rome, Turin and Como. The company just acquired H4U srl, a residential building management company with a portfolio of around 70 apartments in Milan and Rome, pushing their total portfolio to approximately 850 assets with a total of 3,500 units. In Domus will open a location with 104 units at Viale dell’Innovazione in Milan in 2020. Besides this, CampusX will open in Milan, but first they are planning to open a location with 246 beds in Florence in 2019 as well setting a plan in motion to open in Turin.

Bocconi a complex of 300 units, and the Opera Universitaria di Trento opened a complex of 130 units. Politecnico di Milano announced to open an accommodation of 350 student units, and the University of Lucca plans to open a complex of 100 units in 2020. Among international investors it is mainly The Student Hotel that has caught attention as a first-mover into the market. Recently TSH opened the doors of their first location in Florence (390 rooms), and has two more projects planned in the same city. Besides this, there are openings confirmed in Bologna and Rome. The Student Hotel group plans to have more than 10 Italian properties open, in development or secured by 2023, accounting for hundreds of millions in investments. Stonehill Group started constructions of a student complex of 513 units in Bologna, which is planned to open in 2020. In 2019, constructions will start of a complex in Padua with 678 student units. Alongside with this, investor Avenue Partners is planning to open a student complex of 357 units in Turin in 2020.

Various universities are similarly expanding their supply of student housing. The University of Camerino opened a complex of 456 units, TREND REPORT 2019








Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna (188)

Politecnico di Milano (156)


Sapienza University of Rome (196)

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento (167)


Politecnico di Milano (230)

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (175)

Top Countries of Origin: China, Albania & Romania Top institutions: Politecnico di Milano, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento & Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

Student population: 1,815,950 International: 92,655 (5.1%)

TRANSACTION Hines has been keeping an eye on Italy and specifically on Milan. They announced an investment of €160m for two new student residences near the new Bocconi campus, with a total of 1,300 rooms that will be delivered in 2020/21. The company also revealed to invest €340m in other housing schemes in Rome, Florence, and Venice.

Average domestic course fee: €1,500 Non-EU: €1,500 Average monthly PBSA rent: €200-€1,000

TSH Florence Lavagnini

National student housing provision rate: 2.3%

LEGAL AND POLITICS Even though Italian politics have gotten used assets are facing an increasing attention to some volatility, the recent elections held from investors that want to further diversify in March 2018 empowered a Eurosceptic their portfolios, and the foreseen promise coalition that caused significant uncertainty. of higher yields. This reflects for example in non-residential real estate investments, which dropped 40% compared to last year [3]. According to analysts this is partly caused by the instability concerns that international investors have regarding the new government. However, this trend seems not to be affecting alternative products such as student housing. These

EDUCATION AND MOBILITY Half of the 1.7 million Italian students move away from their home towns for their tertiary education. In addition to this, Italy welcomes circa 95,000 international students per year. This amount is comparable to the number of international students that come to The Netherlands every year, while its population is much smaller (60m vs 17m). This trend is caused by a mix of a low amount of English Taught Programmes and the relatively low international rankings of the Italian universities. According to the 2019 QS World Ranking the 86


three best Italian universities are Politecnico di Milano (156), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (167) and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (175). A more competitive advantage is to be found in the private schools in Italy that excel in their niche and have a strong international perspective as SDA Bocconi in Milan, Polimoda in Florence and Istituto Marangoni in Milan. A further increase of English Taught Programmes in both Bachelor and Master programmes might give birth to a new renaissance in Italian higher education. TREND REPORT 2019






Housing shortage persist as international student numbers keep increasing


Top Countries of Origin: Germany, China & Italy

A large shortage of student units in many student cities still continues to exist, despite a record of investments and developments in PBSA in the previous years. A steady growth of both domestic and international students is expected, confirming The Netherlands as a steady and maturing market.

Top institutions: Delft University of Technology, University of Amsterdam & Eindhoven University of Technology Student population: 836,946 International: 89,920 (10.7%)

NEW DEVELOPMENTS According to the same Savills report there are about 18,500 new student units planned to be developed in the next few years. One of the major developments is the 698-unit student complex of 74m at Hoogeweg in Groningen by Borghese Real Estate and Urban Development. Delivery is expected for early 2020. The project was recently acquired by KKR and Round Hill Capital. It is their second student housing acquisition in The Netherlands, after purchasing a scheme of 750 units for students and young professionals in Utrecht. The buildings will be managed by Nido Student, a brand of Round Hill.

Average domestic course fee: €2,060 Non-EU: €12,000 Average monthly PBSA rent: €300-€800 National student housing provision rate: 16%

TRANSACTION Xior is the most active investor in Dutch student housing in 2018. They completed the purchase of the Bonnefanten College in Maastricht (€34M for 257 units), 3 buildings at the Navitaweg in Amsterdam (€47M for 247 units in total), a former hospital in Enschede which is being converted by LIFE (€28M for 271 units), and 206 units at Rotsoord in Utrecht and 320 units at Karspeldreef in Amsterdam for a total of €95M.

In June the construction has started for 1,000 new dwellings of the Your campus in Leiden. Of this amount, 664 units are for students. Delivery is planned for the end of 2020. In Amsterdam, social housing association DeKey is going to build 500 units at the Poeldijkstraat. Construction will start mid-2019 and delivery is expected for mid-2020. In Enschede, Camelot opened a 445-unit student complex, converted from a faculty building of the Twente University. Besides these major developments, many more started or were announced, such as the start of The Student Hotel in Delft (342 units; delivery expected fo 2019), project Pauwmolen in Delft (285 units by Camelot), the conversion of a former prison in Haarlem (250 units by DUWO), Bold in Amsterdam (203 student units by DeKey; delivery expected 2021), and 159 student units in Nijmegen (conversion of a building on the Radboud campus by SSHN). 88


LEGAL AND POLITICS The 698-unit student complex development at Hoogeweg in Groningen

24.7% stayrate international students 5 years after graduation

#5,600 predicted average annual growth of research university student numbers for the next 8 years

The social sentiment regarding the internationalisation of Dutch higher education remains somewhat negative and a strong debate is currently going on around this topic. The minister ensured that higher education remains accessible to Dutch students, and that the use of English in courses will be substantiated by the added value for the course or labour market requirements.

3.3% predicted growth of student number in higher education for the next 8 years







POL AND According to a survey of the National Union of Students in Norway, a shortage of 14,000 student units all over Norway stands in the way of achieving the government’s goal of providing dedicated housing for at least 20% of the students.



NEW DEVELOPMENTS The Norwegian government reported in August that a total of 2,188 student units are planned to be developed, spread over 14 cities. One of the major developments is the constructions of 320 student units by Studentsamskipnaden i Oslo (SiO) at Blindernveien 6 in Oslo. This is in close proximity to the Univeristy of Oslo and several other higher education institutes. Completion of the building is expected for mid-2020. Last April SiO completed the renovation of the student complex of Kringsjå Student Village, located in a suburb of Oslo. The renovation also included an extension of 114 units, bringing the total capacity of the building to 349 student units. Studentsamskipnaden i Stavanger (SiS) received NOK 54.4 million (about €5.7 million) from the government in order to develop 160 student units near the University of Stavanger. The total project costs are NOK 124 million and the project is expected to be delivered in August 2020.

SiO project at Blindernveien 6 in Oslo


While the PBSA market in Poland is still in its infancy, some exciting projects have started this year. The low supply, reasonable costs of living and its international higher education make Poland a market with great potential.

In March, Golub GetHouse began transforming the former Telpod factory into their 290-unit Livinn Krakow student residence (700 beds) in the Zablocie district. Delivery is expected for mid-2019. In Warsaw, they purchased a plot where they are going to develop a 430-unit complex. Constructions are expected to start at the end of 2018. For both projects, they partnered with CA Ventures International. In July IC Campus announced the development of a 1,000-unit complex in Krakow for students and young professionals, together with Alkyon Partners. The scheme is located in the Zablocie district and will be operated under its ‘The Fizz’ brand. Construction is expected to start mid-2019. In August, Student Depot opened their first complex in Wroclaw with 494 units. It is the fourth complex of the company in Poland, bringing their total to circa 1,600 beds. In September Zeitgeist Asset Management announced to have purchased a 10-story office building in the Śródmieście district. Their intention is to transform the building into 149 student units.

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: Sweden, China & Russia

Top institutions: University of Oslo, University of Bergen & Norwegian University of Science and Technology Student population: 277,449 International: 10,880 (3.9%)

Average domestic course fee: €100 Non-EU: €100

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: Ukraine, Belarus & Norway

Top institutions: University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University & Warsaw University of Technology

Student population: 1,600,208 International: 54,734 (3.4%) Average domestic course fee: €0 Non-EU: €2,000

Average monthly PBSA rent: €90-€600

National student housing provision rate: 9%

EDUCATION AND MOBILITY Coventry University (UK) is to open its first international campus in Wroclaw. The first courses will start September 2019 and about 300 students are expected to enroll.

Average monthly PBSA rent: €700 National student housing provision rate: 8%



Poland also signed an agreement with Taiwan to enhance bilateral cooperation regarding science and education. The countries will continue to cultivate the exchange of students and scholars. TREND REPORT 2019





Rapid growth of investments in Europe’s hottest study destination



SOURCE: Savills



International investors are investing significant amounts in the Spanish student housing market. Some consider it as the new golden goose of the Spanish real estate market, in which €600m has been invested in 2017. Secondary cities are gaining attracting from investors, obviously along with Madrid and Barcelona.


UK 7%





Collegiate opened a new location in Aravaca of 215 units. The project was developed by WP Carey and its partner Grupo Moraval. In 2019 Collegiate will also open 350 units in Valencia and 372 units in Finestrelles, a suburb of Barcelona. The Loft Town opened in Barcelona and has 146 student units and has interest for Madrid, Valencia and Girona. Mi Casa Inn Moncloa opened in Madrid, located next to the university. The accommodation has 250 units. Greystar’s intention is, after acquiring RESA in September 2017, to open four new residences in Madrid, Pamplona, Bilbao, and Granada, representing 1,222 new beds. Camplus opened its first Spanish location in Pamplona (305 units). In Madrid, Corestate has opened its first residence in Spain (260 student units). Next to this, they acquired a 413-unit project in Seville, which is scheduled to open in 2020 and will be operated by its Youniq brand. Corestate has plans to open in Valencia and Bilbao as well.


The Student Hotel is opening their first Madrid location in the “La Imprenta” building. The 300 rooms are planned to open in 2019. There are plans to open a new location in Barcelona in 2020 as well, which will have 300 rooms as well. Nexus has two projects planned for opening in Bareclona in 2019: Garbí Residence (370 units) and Aleu University Residence (500 units). In addition, LIFE is planning to open in 2019 in Barcelona as well, with their I LOVE BESOS project (circa 200 units).



Top Countries of Origin: Italy, France & Ecuador







Top institutions: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universitat de Barcelona & Universitat Autònoma Barcelona

TRANSACTION Amro REP announced to invest €300m in student housing in Spain and Portugal. Their first acquisition concerns a 360-unit development in Granda, which is planned to open in 2020. The plan is to grow its Iberian portfolio to 5,000 units. A joint venture between Henderson Park and Hines acquired a 750-unit student complex in Barcelona. The project, located in the 22@ Innovation District, is expected to open in the 2021/2022 academic year. Catella acquired three buildings in Pamplona with a total of 278 beds for €26m.

In Bilbao, Amenábar is developing an accommodation of 400 students which is scheduled for opening in 2020. Spanish developer Temprano Capital Partners bought a site in Valencia for the development of a 290-unit student complex. The company is backed by capital from WP Carey.

Student population: 1,968,702 International: 53,409 (2.7%)

Average course fee: €750-€1,800

Average monthly PBSA rent: €350-€1,300

National student housing provision rate: 6%

The Granada development of Amro REP

The new plan for an Iberoamerican exchange in higher education, also known as “Iberoamerican Erasmus”, was presented. The plan aims to help more than 200,000 students graduating in another Spanishspeaking country until 2020.









SWEDEN The Portuguese economy is catching up quickly and seems to be performing well. Despite its limited scale, national and international investors are increasingly confident about the real estate market, and the student housing niche is still gaining specific attention.






In the area of Stockholm two major student housing developments are planned: in Flemingsberg near Södertörn University (450 units, delivery 2020) and in Lappkärrsberget, adjacent to Stockholm University (480 apartments of which 300 student units, delivery 2020). Besides this, there are plans to convert the former IBM building into 2,000 apartments, of which 350 will become student units.

Portugal is relying on Brazil to boost its share LEGAL & POLITICS of international students. Not surprisingly, The Portuguese government has launched in 2017, the number of student visas for a plan, called PNAES. It intends to provide Brazilians has increased by 35%, and it is funding for municipalities and public higher expected to grow even more in 2018. Angola, education institutions that have buildings Spain, Cape Verde and Italy follow the South which can be converted into student housing. American country in the top 5 nationalities of international students, which amounted more than 12.200 in 2017.

In Malmö, a building permit was granted for the construction of 646 student units in the Katrinelund district. Smaller projects around the country of circa 100 to 250 units have been approved in cities such as Lulea, Uppsala, and Trollhattan.

TRANSACTION Collegiate opened Marquês de Pombal in Lisbon, a development by Spanish Temprano Capital Partners of 330 student units. They plan to develop three more student complexes next year in Coimbra (345 units), Porto (580 units), and one more in Lisbon called Entrecampos (420 units). The company is backed by capital from WP Carey.



The number of international students has risen by 8% in Sweden (14% in Stockholm) in the last two years, growing the demand in an already undersupplied student housing market. According to the Swedish Federation of Students there is currently a shortage of 17,000 beds.

Milestone is developing a 220-units student accommodation in the Paranhos area in Porto, where the biggest university campus of Porto is located. Delivery is expected for the 2019/20 academic year. Also The Student Hotel has set her eyes on Portugal. In 2020 they will open a location in Porto (300 units) and in 2021 a location in Carcavelos (435 units), a suburb of Lisbon. Uniplaces released a study focusing on favorite living areas in the three biggest university cities in Portugal. In Lisbon, Arroio’s district is the zone where Portuguese youngsters choose to move in. Paranhos is the most popular zone for students in Porto, while in Coimbra this is Baixa.

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: Brazil, Angola & Cape Verde Top institutions: Univeristy of Porto, Universiy of Lisbon & Universidad Nova de Lisboa

The three largest public student housing providers in Sweden have merged. The new name for the fusion of SBB/Samhällsbyggnadsbolaget, Amasten and Offentliga Hus is now Studentbostäder i Sverige. The new company has a share of 95.6% in the supply of public student housing, with a combined portfolio valued at approximately €90 million.

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: China, Finland & Germany

Top institutions: Lund Uniersity, KTH Royal Institute of Technology & Uppsala University

Student population: 343,117 International: 16,888 (4.9%)

Student population: 426,188 International: 28,029 (6.6%)

Average course fee: €950-€3,000

Average domestic course fee: €0 Non-EU: €9,700

Average monthly PBSA rent: €150-€650

Average monthly PBSA rent: €200-€625

National student housing provision rate: 3.5%

National student housing provision rate: 22%






purchase of a 348-unit complex in Bristol. The buildings will be operated by Nido Student, a brand of Round Hill.

Property Group. They acquired four projects for €142m in Leeds, Coventry, Portsmouth and Swansea, totalling 1,267 beds. The Leeds development already opened, the other Student Roost, part of Brookfield Property projects are planned to open in 2019/20. Partners, acquired the Enigma portfolio The properties will be managed under the for €586m. The portfolio consists of 5,400 Prime Student Living brand. student beds across 15 assets in London, Other noteworthy transactions were UPP Birmingham, Bath, Durham and Sheffield. acquiring a student complex with 2,005 beds Singapore Press Holding (SPH) purchased at the Swansea University Bay Campus for a portfolio from Unite Students for €202m. €100m, Aberdeen Standard Investments The portfolio consists of 3,436 student beds acquiring Grosvenor House (227 student across 14 assets in Plymouth, Huddersfield, beds) in London for €77m, and Malaysian life Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol and London. insurer Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) Unite Students acquired a development in acquiring two PBSA complexes in Edinburgh London for €221m. The scheme with 1,000 and Birmingham with a total of 360 units student beds is expected to open in 2021/22. for €44m.

No signs of slowing down, is the UK PBSA market Brexit proof?


Although the UK PBSA market is by far the most mature in Europe, it only keeps on growing. According to Savills, property investors are set to invest about €1bn this year on PBSA in London alone. While Brexit may cause some concerns among global investors, enough opportunities remain for further development.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS As expected in a mature market, there are many PBSA developments under construction or planned. One of the major developments concerns Campus Living Villages and Equitix developing 1,200 beds for the University of Bristol. Delivery is expected for 2021/22. In addition, they will develop 1,000 rooms for Durham University, which should open in 2020. Unite Students is developing a 928-bed PBSA scheme in Leeds. The site is close to both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. Delivery is expected for 2020.

Other major projects are the First Way Campus student development in Wembley by Cole Waterhouse (680 units; expected delivery July 2020) and the development of 658 student units at Hoyle Street in the centre of Sheffield by Mace. Litton Buccleuch is developing a major project in Sheffield as well. On the location of the former Stokes Tiles Centre four new student complexes will be developed, totalling 860 units. Delivery is expected for 2020.


In May Arlington seeded a newly created £400m (€454m) student accommodation fund (ASAF) with 15 assets, totalling circa 8,000 student units. The assets are located in ten primary UK cities including London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. Arlington expects to add another 1,500 to 1,800 units this year. A joint venture KKR and Round Hill Capital acquired four PBSA developments: one in Coventry (778 beds; opening 2021/22), one in Glasgow (401 beds; opening 2019/20) and two in London (353 and 283 beds; opening in 2020/21). They also have an option for the TREND REPORT 2019

Nido Students, Coventry

EDUCATION AND MOBILITY CORESTATE acquired CRM Students for €17m. With 23,000 beds and 145 locations, CRM is by far the largest independent student accommodation management company in the UK. Allianz Real Estate made a €400m investment in student accommodation platform Chapter from Greystar. They now have 10 assets with 5,100 beds in London, and the plan is to double this in the next 5 years.


Colliers International bought a 75% stake in Harrison Street for $450m. Harrison Street teamed up with Uliving to invest in PBSA properties in the UK. As part of the partnership, the companies have finalised agreements on their first project, a new £40m (€45.8m) PBSA development in Birmingham. Harrison Street also teamed up with Crosslane QS launched a survey amongst 67,172 students and 63 universities worldwide. The study found that 39% of prospective students from within the EU said they were less interested in studying in the UK due to Brexit, while this is 10% of those outside the EU. According to the report, “the loss of these non-EU international students coming to the UK could have a very significant financial impact for UK Universities. … the ‘at risk’ income from first-year fees could exceed £250 million per annum.”

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: China, Malaysia & India Top institutions: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge & Imperial College London Student population: 2,387,280 International: 432,001 (18.1%)

Average domestic course fee: €4,400-€10,450 Non-EU: €11,300- €33,750

Average monthly PBSA rent: €225-€2,250

National student housing provision rate: 24%


Recently British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK has no plans to limit student visas post-Brexit. Scotland announced at the start of 2018 that tuition will remain free for EU students after Brexit. England followed with the announcement that EU students will pay the same tuition fees as English students in 2019/20, but their long-term status remains unclear. TREND REPORT 2019





According to a JLL report last year, there is a shortage of 4,100 student units in Switzerland. In the meantime, new developments, aimed at closing this gap, have been initiated.


WOKO opens 237 student units in the Binz area in Zurich at the end of 2018. SSWZ is developing a 130-unit student complex at the Rosengartenstrasse, which is expected to open in 2019.

WOKO, Zürich

The Terra Casa Foundation will develop a 700-unit student complex for student of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva. The building located at the corner of the Route de Ferney and Route des Morillons, is expected to be delivered in 2021. Ortsbürgergemeinde is planning to build the very first student accommodation in St.Gallen. The 150 student units are expected to be delivered in 2022.

COUNTRY STATS Top Countries of Origin: Germany, France & Italy

Top institutions: ETH Zurich, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne & University of Zurich

Residence Life

European Regulations

PBSA Operations

Student population: 295,149 International: 51,911 (17.6%)

Average course fee: €1.500-€6.000

Average monthly PBSA rent: €450-€1,000

National student housing provision rate: 10%





European PBSA Regulations

tax rate, which increases based on the size of the income. The tenant benefits from an annual income tax deduction of € 300.00 if his/her total annual income does not exceed € 15,493.71, while the deduction drops to € 150.00 if such total income exceeds € 15,493.71 but is not higher than € 30,987.41.


Studio Legale Caiazzo Donnini Pappalardo & Associati in collaboration with Studio Tributario Mascagna

The main types of construction licenses, needed for PBSA construction activity and issued by the competent local administration, are: (I) the building permit; and (II) the certified notice of commencement of works (SCIA).

The building permit allows the relevant construction that is in compliance with the applicable town planning provisions. The real property owner must present construction plans (prepared by a professional expert) containing the technical specifications of the works. If the competent committee of the local administration approves the project, the building permit is granted (articles 10 and subsequent of DPR no. 380/2001).
 The SCIA represents a simplified type of construction license. The real property owner needs to communicate the beginning of the construction works to the competent local authority with a notice. The contractor can start the works from the submission date of the notice. The competent authority verifies the notice within 30 days from its submission and, in the event that there is a failure to comply with applicable legal requirements, it will prohibit further construction activity and will order the owner to undo the irregularly carried out works (article 19 of law 241/1990 and articles 22 and subsequent of DPR no. 380/2001). After this 30-day period, the local authority can, during a period of 18 months, still prohibit certain construction activities and order the undoing of irregularly carried out works based on public interest purposes. The Italian rental law (law no. 431/1998), divides the principal types of rental agreements in two main categories: (i) free-rental agreement; and (ii) controlled rental agreement. The free-rental agreement has a minimal duration of 4 years, automatically renewed for other 4 years, unless the owner withdraws based on motivated major grounds. The parties establish the rent and all the other conditions of the agreement freely (art. 2, sub. 1 of law no. 431/1998). In the other type of rental agreements, the



rent is established by territorial agreements concluded among the owners’ and the tenants’ associations. This category is made up of: a) the controlled rental agreement for residential use, having a minimum duration of 3 years, automatically renewed for other 2 years unless the owner withdraws based on motivated major grounds (art. 2, sub. 3 of law no. 431/1998); b) the controlled rental agreement for students’ temporary use, having a minimum duration of 6 months and a maximum duration of 36 months, automatically renewed unless the tenant withdraws based on motivated major grounds. After the expiration of one renewal period, the contract expires automatically (art. 5, sub. 2 of law no. 431/1998); and c) the controlled rental agreement for general temporary use, which can only be applied in particular situations of the owner (such as temporary transfer) or tenant (such as being a non-university student) and has a nonrenewable duration of a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 18 months (art. 5, sub. 1 of law no. 431/1998). By choosing the controlled agreements, the owner can achieve fiscal benefits and the tenant can obtain tax deductions. However, in order for the owner to obtain mainly all fiscal benefits, he/she needs to be a physical person who does not exercise a business or a profession. We set out below the tax regimes related to the above-mentioned hypotheses. The owner cannot benefit from any fiscal advantages for the free-rate contracts and must pay income tax on 85% of the annual rent received (this percentage applies to legal persons as well as physical persons). In the event that the owner is a physical person, he/she can opt for a 21% fixed tax regime (called “dry coupon”) instead of applying his/her ordinary income

Turning to the controlled rental agreements, it is necessary to distinguish between: 1. controlled rental agreement for residential use: the owner benefits from a 30% reduction of the registration tax. The owner who is a physical person pays the personal income tax only on 59.5% of the annual rent received; also in this case, the owner, provided he/ she is a physical person, can opt for an even more favourable fixed taxation regime, with application of a 10% rate instead of applying the ordinary income tax rate. The tenant has an income tax deduction of € 495.80 if his/ her total income does not exceed € 15,493.71, while the deduction drops to € 247.90 if his/ her total income exceeds € 15,493.71 but is not higher than € 30,987.41. Furthermore, young people between the ages of 20 and 30 benefit, for the first 3 rental years, of an annual tax deduction of € 991.60 if their total annual income does not exceed € 15,493.71; 2. controlled rental agreement for general temporary use: no tax benefits are provided for the owner, except that physical persons can opt for a 10% fixed tax regime if the property is located in a highly dense population area. If this is not the case, the fixed rate is set at 21%. There are no tax benefits for tenants; 3. controlled rental agreements for student’s temporary use: the owner benefits of a 30% reduction of the registration tax, and if such owner is a physical person, he/she only pays the personal income tax on 59.5% of the annual rent received; also in this case the owner (being a physical person) can opt for a fixed taxation regime of a 10% rate instead of the application of the ordinary income tax rate. The student may annually deduct 19% on the paid rent up to a maximum of € 2,633.00 (consequently, the tax deduction reaches a maximum of € 500.27). This deduction is provided for students who attend a university in a Municipality other than the one in which they reside and located at a distance of at least 100 km.


Over the last few years, the need for student housing in the Netherlands has strongly increased. Traditionally, nonprofit organizations have been the main operators in the student housing market. Recent developments in legislation and rent control have made it more interesting for commercial parties to invest in studenthousing.

Tenancy law Dutch residential lease law is, for the most part, mandatory and tenant friendly. Students can appeal to the same security of tenure as other tenants, secured in the Dutch Civil code (DCC). Within this framework, the Mobility Rental Market Act (Wet Doorstroming huurmarkt 2015) of 1 July 2016 has made it more attractive for landlords to lease out rooms to students, as changes in the legislation have provided more flexibility to the landlord with regard to these contracts. Further to this legislation, one of the limited grounds for termination of the lease contract by the landlord can be that the accommodation is designated for use by a specific target group, such as students (“campus” lease contracts). If the tenant no longer falls within the target group ‘students’, this is a ground for termination of the lease by the landlord. After termination, the accommodation can be provided to another student. The new legislation has also introduced the possibility to enter into a temporary lease contract up to a maximum of two years for self-containedproperties (properties with their own kitchen, bathroom and front door) and five years for not-self-contained properties (often the case for student housing). If the landlord complies with all the conditions, he is not bound by the standard security of tenant regulations (such as the limited grounds for termination), and can terminate the lease more easily. Zoning/planning Under Dutch planning law the designated use of a property is primarily regulated in a zoning plan that usually pertains to a larger area and is valid for a ten-year period. In a zoning plan the municipal authorities can designate locations for residential use in general but also for specific categories such as student housing. On contrary, a zoning plan can also stipulate limitations regarding the development of student housing on a residential location, for instance if only singlefamily residences are allowed or if letting rooms is not allowed. A location-specific TREND REPORT 2019


assessment of the applicable zoning plan is required to verify whether the development of student housing is directly allowed. In the event that the zoning plan does not allow for student housing the intended development would require a revision of the zoning plan or a specific planning permission which may or may not be granted at the discretion of the municipal authorities. Due to the continued pressure on the Dutch housing market there is an increasing tendency among municipalities to limit the zoning for potential residential (re)development locations to specific categories of residential use. This underlines the need for a careful and timely assessment of the applicable zoning plan and, to the extent that student housing is not directly allowed and a zoning plan revision or specific planning permission would be required, a substantiation that will convince the local authorities that there is an actual need for student housing in the area and that there will be no unacceptable effects on the living environment with regard to aspects such as inter alia noise and (bike) parking.

VAT Lease of residential property is exempt from VAT, meaning that VAT on costs incurred for residential real estate generally cannot be reclaimed from the Dutch tax authorities and hence should be considered a cost. Providing hotel-like services on the other hand, is VAT taxed against the reduced VAT rate (currently 6%, to be raised to 9% per 1/1/2019) and entitles the property owner to deduct VAT on costs (generally incurred at 21% VAT rate). Keeping in mind that student housing is generally marketed at a price ‘including VAT’ (VAT incurred on living expenses generally cannot be recovered), it can be relatively simple to calculate which is more lucrative: 1) accept the VAT incurred on (investment) costs as a cost and not charge VAT on the rent, or 2) accept to report and pay 6/106 (at current VAT rate) out of the rent as VAT while being able to reclaim the VAT incurred on (investment) costs. Of course, the actual services rendered should support a qualification as ‘lease’ or ‘hotel-like service’.. 102



The legal framework in Germany makes PBSA a complex asset class.

I. Building and Planning Law: Obviously, PBSA has to be permissible at its specific location. This regards the building itself but as well the type of use. Whether the PBSA is permissible depends on federal laws as well as applicable laws of the relevant federal state. If, for example, only “living” is permissible, it must be ensured that the actual use is considered a residential and not a commercial lease form. The test question is: Do the tenants relocate their “core of life” to the PBSA? Decisive are, amongst other criteria, the length of stay, the possibility of a domestic lifestyle, the size of the apartment, communal areas etc. While the determination can be difficult in certain micro living concepts, PBSA will usually provide residential leases. Another important question is whether the PBSA complies with applicable laws prohibiting misuses (“anti-Airbnb” legislation) which are in place e.g. in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. While PBSA will usually not violate against such laws, certain other micro living concepts face trouble in this regard from time to time.

II. Tenancy Law Residential tenants benefit from a high degree of legal protection. However, such protection does in parts not match the real life (operational) requirements of a PBSA. Therefore, student residence leases are excluded in the following regards: - Relatively free determination of the weekly or monthly rent. - All-in rent is possible, i.e. no operating cost settlement necessary. - Time-limit for lease term possible, in particular if a tenant ceases to be a student. What is important to know is that PBSA are only considered as legally privileged student residences in the above sense if they match certain requirements, such as the selection of tenants on basis of a “rotation principle”.

III. Tax Law Especially in the case of new buildings, it can make sense from the owner’s perspective to levy VAT on the rental income as far as possible in order to deduct input tax regarding VAT paid to pre-contractors. However, in particular compared to hotellike concepts, this is very difficult to achieve in PBSA concepts as (i) the lease terms very often exceed six months and (ii) the tenants use the apartments for non-commercial purposes. From the owner`s perspective, it may also be important to make use of the “extended trade tax reduction” to avoid trade tax. For this purpose, it is important that the landlord avoids rent income with regard to operating equipment or the performance of special services. As the case may be, an operating company may be involved to reduce trade tax risks for the property company.

Local and regional authorities are entitled to pass the relevant planning and zoning plans that specify urban characteristics and use parameters. In general, student housing can be developed in urban plots where residential and/or facilities uses are allowed. However, zoning plans, when regulating the residential and facilities uses can establish limitations or conditions for student housing. Also, to regulate tourism, some cities, including Barcelona, have included student housing together with tourist accommodation in the same piece of legislation, imposing further requirements on developing student housing. Therefore, in-depth analysis from a town planning perspective is required when selecting a location for PBSA.



Tenancy law Student housing in Spain, when incardinated in universities, would be normally subject to the 5th additional provision of Organic Act 6/2001 as well as the by-laws of each university. Student housing for university students falls outside the scope of the Spanish Urban Leases Act (Act 29/1994) provided they are classified as such by the university. Other than that, student housing would be governed by the Urban Leases Act, which can be considered as rather tenant friendly. Zoning/planning Under Spanish division of powers, regional authorities (comunidades autónomas) are entitled to draft and pass legislation on town planning, which is the main legal framework applicable to works licensing, administrative procedures on planning matters, land and use characteristics, and types of urban development.

Over the last few years, developers and investors have found a growing market in the Spanish student housing market, due to a clear unbalance between a growing demand and a limited offer, which until recently was almost exclusively provided by universities. There are no specific Spanish regulations governing student housing outside universities.

VAT Residential property leasing is VAT exempt, meaning that VAT on costs/investments incurred for residential real estate is nondeductible, and, therefore, it is an additional cost, whereas providing hotel services is taxed at 10% reduced VAT rate and entitles to deduct on VAT on costs and investments. The criteria of the Spanish tax authorities is that student housing services are taxed at 10% VAT rate, similar to providing hotel services, as they include several hotel services for students. Therefore, the property owner can deduct VAT on costs, including the acquisition or construction of the building to house students. Certain local taxes also apply to ownership, construction and use of PBSA. TREND REPORT 2019


Save the Date


February, 26 | Pan European Session LONDON th

March, 21st | ES Session VALENCIA April, 9 th | Central and Eastern Europe Session WARSAW May, 23 rd | DE Session FRANKFURT June, 6 th | NL Session AMSTERDAM

image credits

p.14) Brookings, Advancing a new wave of urban competitiveness, 2017 p.16) Worcflow p.18) bottom left: RDM, 2016, photo by Claire Droppert top right: Station F, photo by Patrick Tourneboeuf p.19) HTC, 2017, photo by Raats p.30) Maastricht University, 2017, photo by Harry Heuts p.32) Maastricht University, photo by Philip Driessen p.38) Fiolstræde/Jens Fink-Jensen p.40) ESN p.41) top: ESN, 2018, photo by Katarzyna Pasierbiewicz bottom: ESN, 2018, photo by Katarzyna Pasierbiewicz p.54) Campus Living Villages p.55) Campus Living Villages p.60) MINI p.62) top: LifeX bottom: Garden House, photo by Luke Hayes


p.63) bottom: Lowe Guardians p.66) Bouwinvest p.67) Bouwinvest p.68) Nantes Métropole Habitat, photo by Valéry Joncheray p.69) Nantes Métropole Habitat, photo by Valéry Joncheray p.75) Temprano Capital Partners p.76) International Campus GmbH p.79) The Student Hotel p.82) Staytoo Apartments p.84) rtmliving p.85) Camplus p.86) The Student Hotel p.88) Round Hill Capital p.90) Dyrvik Architects p.93) Amro REP p.97) Nido Students p.98) WOKO

CLASS Annual Trend Report is a production of The Class of 2020 Foundation

June, 18 th | FR Session NANTES

Chief Editor: Jorick Beijer Research, Text & Editing: Martijn Pustjens

July, 11 | IT Session BOLOGNA th

Research support: Roger Pardell Carrera, Ali Naqvi Art Director: Christian Pappalardo Front Cover: Chiara Vercesi

November | European Class Conference 2019 BERLIN

More information: www.theclassof2020.org

Printed November 2018 in Amsterdam, Elco Print



All Rights Reserved TREND REPORT 2019


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