2015 The Class Trend Report

Page 1

Edition 2016



Annual Trend Report

Rolling out the Red Carpet How Europe’s university cities compete for talent The international student experience: what matters and what doesn’t? Updates from Europe’s record-breaking student housing markets


partners of the class of 2020



The Class of 2020 is Europe’s leading platform on student housing and internationalisation of education. Based in Amsterdam we are supported by our partners who along side us aim for a student housing market that is open, international, professional, sophisticated and developed fully to accommodate student needs. Increase your expertise and profile your brand by joining our partnership base and get acces to special lectures, networking events, educational workshops and our annual conference. For more information about joining The Class of 2020 as a Partner contact us at info@theclassof2020.org

talent has no boundaries Editorial The face of higher education and student housing in Europe continues to evolve dramatically. In the wake of demographic shifts and decreased state funding internationalisation has become a ‘trending topic’ in university boardrooms and city halls across the continent. This summer the European University Association reported that 69% of European universities consider internationalisation valuable, up from just 8% in 2010. The number of English taught programmes jumped from 2,400 in 2007 to over 8,000 today. Overall international student mobility is expected to double by 2025. Red carpet is the new mantra The shift from local to international demand is accelerated by comprehensive global recruitment strategies with savvy marketing campaigns, availability of grants and universityguaranteed housing. Encouraged by the EU and challenged by declining local student populations, European cities and nations have launched comprehensive red carpet strategies to attract and retain talent. The number of job fairs, incubators and new platforms have surged as student needs and expectations have changed. The European student housing sector has responded with new and innovative forms of student housing aided by record levels of investments. International students can most certainly count on a warm welcome wherever they go. In our fifth annual trend report The Class of 2020 celebrates the internationalisation of Europe’s higher education and student housing communities. We believe that internationalisation is beneficial to all involved: it broadens the horizons of our

students, our cities become economically stronger; it makes our universities less dependent on state funding and more responsive to student needs; and for student housing organisations it creates opportunities to invest in accommodation that meets the needs of millennial students. The Class of 2020 considers its mission to inspire and connect professionals in higher education, student housing, technology and government to provide students with the best experience. We are proud to see our industry professionalise rapidly and how the study, job and housing opportunities for international talent are drastically improving across Europe. The past year has been extraordinary for The Class of 2020 foundation. Our partnership base has doubled and we now represent over 200,000 beds across the globe. Not only have we joined forces with industry operators and developers we have also welcomed industry experts. In addition pilots have resulted in exciting partnerships and new ideas for collaboration with international organisations like EAIE, INREV, ACUHO-I, ULI, Studyportals and many others. Refugee students This year many of us have become aware of another growing international community that has in many ways the same needs as international and local students. Each year many students flee their home country to escape the horrors of war, discrimination and prosecution. For them finishing their higher education in Europe provides hope and opportunities to rebuild their lives. Organisations like Foundation for Refugee Students UAF (established in 1948) have provided students with grants, mentors, and other forms of support. With the number of refugees rising rapidly this year, the demand for resources is growing and more help is needed. Many universities have pledged to accept more refugee students. The Class of 2020 is looking to work with UAF and similar organisations to see how the student housing community can contribute with providing new homes. We invite everyone to join us in generating resources to support student refugees.

Wouter Onclin Foundation Manager


Frank Uffen Co-founder The Class of 2020


LOOKING BACK AT 2015 establishing the European student housing industry Millennials took the spotlight during The Class Conference 2014. We welcomed more delegates than ever at our fourth annual convention at Casa400 in Amsterdam. After a day of panels and networking, we concluded that what’s important for millennials is a bed, WiFi – and a soul. Doubling the partnership The Class partnership programme proved popular, with the number of corporate partners doubling from 15 in January to 30 in October. Together with our partners we aim to change the market, and more partners means we have a wider base to do this. Next to our corporate partners, we also welcomed institutional partners, who will help us strengthen our relationships with the higher education community. We are very pleased to extend a warm welcome to all our new partners. Partner meeting Berlin In April, The Class travelled to Berlin for our second partnership meeting. We undertook site visits and in-depth sessions about the future of The Class and about the German student housing market, and also strengthened the networks in The Class community. Education community partnerships A strong focus of The Class has been to strengthen relationships with the higher education community. Turning the problem of accommodating (international) students into a strength through partnerships helps both universities and the housing community. Our partnership with CUBO, our panel at the EAIE conference and our good relationship with ACUHO-i have been instrumental in furthering this mandate.


The Class events in the past year: • PropertyWeek student housing conference London panel: “European Opportunities” • ULI conference Paris, breakfast session: “Performance Benchmarking in Student Housing” • ITB Berlin: IHIF student accommodation session • MIPIM Cannes, panel discussion hosted by JLL: “Student Housing Investment Briefing” • LD Events London, site visits and networking drinks, hosted by Savills • LD Events London, panel: “Looking at European Student Accommodation” • Provada Amsterdam: networking drinks, hosted by Syntrus Achmea • ULI Turkey, video conference: “European Student Housing Trends” • CUBO conference Liverpool attendance • EAIE conference Glasgow, session: “Student Housing for Student Success” • EXPO REAL Munich, panel: “The Student Housing Investor’s Agenda for 2016”

Table of contents How destinations attract international students

"Students increasingly choose a place to study like tourists choose places to visit"

Intelligent investors take the student housing course




Open mind, sharp business

THE value of quality housing capacity for universities

Student housing market updates



Smaller university cities

How universities go global




Study Destination Marketing


Country profiles

Train and retain How countries are trying to retain their international talent



Elevating the international student experience

Can you digs it? Emerging trends in student housing

"Major institutional real estate investors have recently cast a collective vote of confidence in the burgeoning student accommodation sector"



Keep on moving

Regulations and investments in student housing

How the EU helps kids move abroad




The campus as USP

The next university

New liaisons

The European campus of the future is the university city

Seven ways for universities to stay relevant in a changing world

Connecting the global student housing community

Colofon A production of The Class of 2020 foundation Concept & production: Frank Uffen Text & editing: Wouter Onclin, Megan Roberts Research: Wouter Onclin Graphic design: www.jeanpaulfrans.nl Cover illustration: Chiara Vercesi Printing: Elco Extension, Amsterdam More information: www.theclassof2020.org


Millennial students are international by default. Encouraged by the EU and challenged by declining local student populations, European cities and nations have launched comprehensive red carpet strategies to attract and retain international talent. Universities have stepped-up their investments in education, campuses, resident life and student services to provide a better student experience. The private sector acknowledges the expected growth of international higher education with record levels of investments in new forms of student housing.


how destinations attract international students Insights into red carpet strategies Youth travel market expert Samuel Vetrak explains what destinations can do to attract a greater number of international students with a millennial mind set. With the continuing evolution of the global education sector now being driven by millennials, the challenges are shifting in response to their specific demands and needs. The growing demand in international education means that key stakeholders – destinations, institutions or housing providers – need to be forward thinking and to implement more tactical resource allocation through better facilities and choices in order to attract and retain this burgeoning market segment. Youth travel market experts StudentMarketing was founded to assist destinations and individual stakeholders by providing incisive insights into the past and – perhaps more importantly – what is expected to happen in the future, through a combination of detailed research and ‘on the ground’ knowhow. International students – a unique opportunity Internationally mobile students are no longer a trend or an ad hoc development, but a worldwide phenomenon coming from an omnipresent and increasing need for international skills in career and business environments worldwide. There are currently 4.5 million internationally mobile students, and that figure is expected to double by 2025. In Europe there has been a slowdown in the domestic student market, primarily attributable to demographic factors and a gradual demographic decline, as recently underpinned by the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) report.1 With these factors front of mind, it is especially pertinent that destinations face demographic realities and redress this slowdown with greater numbers of international students. Direct economic impact There are additional benefits, such as higher incomes for destinations and universities since international students spend more than their domestic counterparts. The disparate spend on tuition and ‘experience’ is immediately discernible in, for example, London, where during the 2013-’14 academic year the net shortterm economic benefit to the economy was £2.3 billion, of which £100 million alone was contributed by families and visitors equating to 3,200 jobs created/supported.2 This greater spend is due to these students’ social and financial status as children of wealthy parents, and more often than not, this translates to the first priority when studying abroad: accommodation.

This doesn’t mean just any accommodation, but safe, structured and managed accommodation, which is a parental prerequisite for children studying abroad. In the medium to longer term, this translates into a myriad of other benefits for destinations, especially as international students’ spending directly leads to job creation and increased tax revenue. International students also generate additional contributions to the general visitor economy when friends and relatives visit. These students can potentially stay for life and become future citizens, thereby helping to reverse the declining urban demographic, and can become long-term taxpayers. In Amsterdam, for example, each 1,000 international students create 290 jobs and bring €10 million per annum in receipts for taxes, tuition, accommodation, living, entertainment, travel, experience and additional revenues generated from visits by friends and relatives. It is estimated that in the next five years alone, international students will bring €500 million in receipts and at least €100 million in investment to the city. If Amsterdam succeeds in improving its international student numbers to equal averages in other European capitals, it would represent a billion euros in receipts and €400 million in investments. Europe attracts more international students Key players are now actively promoting destinations in an attempt to gain the benefits that come with international students. Traditional destinations – the USA and the UK – are still doing very well, but are not showing as strong growth as other destinations, especially those in mainland Europe, which is seeing a resurgence as a destination for tertiary education programmes, and will continue to grow through 2020 for several reasons. Firstly, quality of education is improving and is becoming more competitive. EU universities are climbing up the top 100 global rankings (39 in 2012/’13 and 42 in 2015/’16).3 With Germany and Sweden driving this trend, Europe is definitely the destination to watch. According to Phil Baty, Editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, “countries such as Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands are performing well, are less hindered by funding cuts and more welcoming for international students.” Secondly, the number of English- taught programmes is growing, making it easier for internationally mobile students to opt for Europe. Nowadays, English-taught programmes in the EU number over 8,000 – up from approximately 2,400 in 2007. The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden are leading the list, but adoption of ETPs is widespread across Europe, with approximately one third of European universities offering programmes in English (up from a just a fifth of universities in 2007)4 .


Source: SVR Publications, Expert Council and Research Unit: ‘Train and Retain’, 2015


Source: Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings


Source: London First & PWC, ‘London Calling Report’, 2015


Source: Academic Cooperation Association: English-Taught Programmes in European

Higher Education, 2014


Finally, price levels of education programmes at universities and accommodation in continental Europe is much more affordable than in traditional destinations adding to the attractiveness.

Of course, the main destination players – Germany and France – cannot beat the UK and USA for obvious reasons. However, Europe as a whole – including the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and ever more popular Eastern European countries like the Czech Republic – can become the number one study destination for international students by 2025, especially if jointly promoted as a destination.

More Americans studying abroad And, in the US, the government expects to support outbound student mobility and double number of American students they send to study abroad by 2021, from 289,408 in 2012/13 . Many of these students are expected to land in Europe5 , a traditional destination to US study abroad program, with high quality of education and being a relatively more affordable option for American students recently. Likewise, Canada has also realised the need for a global international education experience and is expected to follow similar objectives and incentives when it comes to outbound mobility of its students.

How to attract international students Destinations throughout the world have one common tactic: attracting students by maximising their educational offerings. Recently, however, many destinations are investing more in marketing activities, setting out goals to accelerate growth.

Red carpet champions As Europe’s population is ageing, our most successful cities will become increasingly dependent on attracting foreign talent to support economic development. The OECD predicts that the number of international students will grow to 8 million in 2020. Where will they go?

Edinburgh 22.508 - 67.254 89.762 Berlin 27.650 138.273 165.923

London 100.720 265.880 366.600

Student numbers in select university cities 2013/14 No. of domestic students

Paris 75.046 259.979 335.025

No. of international students Total enrolment Madrid 19.597 238.076 257.673


Lyon 22.703 122.381 145.084

barcElona 26.157 - 167.596 193.753


Source: StudentMarketing, Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg, Higher Education Statistics Agency UK, Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports CZ, Statistik Austria, 'Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche' and 'Government of Spain, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport'

munich 17.661 100.194 117.855 Milan 18.208 181.750 199.958

Prague 21.960 132.990 154.950 Vienna 49.661 143.388 193.049

Rome 24.395 225.229 249.624

Canada, for example, has a new strategy called ‘Canada’s International Education Strategy’, whereby it hopes to work collaboratively to double the size of the international student base from 239,131 in 2011 to over 450,000 by 2022.6 This will translate into the creation of 86,500 new jobs (to a total of 173,100 sustained by international education) and student expenditures will rise to over $16.1 billion, providing a net boost to the economy of $10 billion while also generating approximately $910 million in tax revenues. France, meanwhile, has its own initiative to attract foreign students, and is aiming to increase numbers, which stood at 280,000 in 2012. The target is to increase student enrolments from 12.5% in 2014 to 15% by 2020 and 20% in 2025. In fact, President Francois Hollande has said he plans to introduce new measures to make the country more attractive to foreign students, including extending post-study work rights and simplifying administration around visa processing. He has initiated a ‘talent visa’ programme, giving four-year residency to between 5,000 and 10,000 graduates, researchers and highly skilled workers to facilitate this.7 Germany is also aiming high and wants to take steps to retain its position as one of the top five leading host countries for mobile international students. This will entail attracting at least 350,000 foreign students to Germany by the end of the decade, an increase of 40% from 250,000 students in 2011, in itself up from 175,000 in 2000.8 When looking at city destinations, The Hague, for example, is actively working with organisations, local bodies and investors to attract students, and is shaping a strategic marketing plan to reach higher numbers of international students and talent. To equal the level of international students in Maastricht, currently the leading destination in the Netherlands, would entail an increase of more than 6,000 students to over 15,000.9 This desire to attract international students doesn’t just extend to aspiring markets: Australia, an established destination, has initiated the ‘Australian International Education (AIE) 2025’, a long-term market development approach with the goal of doubling international students – from the current 600,000 – by utilising strategic marketing and investment.

When tapping the all- important millennial market, the usual starting point is fundamental strategy research, followed by a combination of tested and innovative strategies to provide the best way forward. More often than not, press and familiarisation tours, trade missions to source markets and digital campaigns are the main promotional tools of destinations. Destination marketing tools MARKET INTELLIGENCE REFERRAL MARKETING









The implications The growth in student numbers that new destinations are looking to attract will clearly create more pressure on accommodation solutions in those cities that are not necessarily ready with their supply. This shortfall presents an opportunity: being unable to meet the demand will result in an inability to attract students and the whole value proposition will be ineffectual. It is clear that parents who can afford to send their children abroad prefer structured and supervised accommodation rather than ad-hoc rental apartments. As a result, there is a need for quality student accommodation providers in continental Europe. Not only can they increase the value proposition of a city to international students, but also improve the quality of delivery and consequently control the quality of influx and new talent to a city – talent that is becoming increasingly important to European cities and employers and their need for new citizens and taxpayers. Cities that work with student accommodation investors and operators to bridge this supply gap can only reap the benefits of the red carpet strategy. Samuel Vetrak CEO StudentMarketing


Source: Institute of International Ecucation (IIE) Open Doors Data


Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Government of Canada


Source: http://thepienews.com/news/france-extends-post-study-work-aims-20-foreign-


Welcoming international students at the airport


Source: ICEF Monitor & DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)


Source: The Class of 2020 & StudentMarketing



AndrĂŠs Nieto Porras

Open mind, sharp business Amsterdam's road from red tape to red carpet The City of Amsterdam has a comprehensive strategy to focus on attracting and retaining international students. International talent is a key driver for attracting companies and investors. And that means that attracting and retaining talent is an important objective for the City of Amsterdam. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, Amsterdam is seeking to increase the number of international students, accelerate the development of new student housing and make it easier for international students to stay here and find jobs. As Holland’s largest university city, Amsterdam is currently home to 108,000 students, up from 95,000 in the year 2010. This number is expected to reach 120,000 by the year 2022. Yet a report by The Class of 2020 and StudentMarketing showed that Amsterdam’s international student base (6,750 international students, or 8% in 2013) is significantly smaller than in cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Zurich. New data has already shown the earliest results of increased public and private efforts. Education hub Amsterdam has 20 higher education institutions that provide a strategic source of talent to international companies located in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. The University of Amsterdam just came in at number 55 worldwide in the most recent QS ranking of the world’s top universities, and number 15 in Europe. Amsterdam’s universities have invested substantially in new campuses, in residential life and in student services. The number of “international branch campuses” is expected to increase worldwide from 200 in the year 2009 to about 275 over the next five years. In the past few years, Amsterdam has already welcomed many new institutions. These include entrepreneurfocused schools such the Nyenrode New Business School, which trains ambitious young talent in how to start a business. The New York Film Academy and the New York Coding + Design Academy are other recent additions. An example of how these various trends come together is Amsterdam’s new AMS Institute, a collaboration between MIT, Delft University and Wageningen University. At this multidisciplinary institute, engineers, designers and scientists work together on finding solutions to widespread urban issues: water, energy, waste, food, data and mobility. “Open Mind, Sharp Business” City marketing is part of the City’s strategy to attract students, education groups and companies. A new campaign titled “Open Mind, Sharp Business” highlights the qualities and celebrates the assets that are valued by international talent. The campaign refers to the region’s diversity, inclusiveness, entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to do business swiftly. It features testimonials from international companies, start-ups and knowledge institutions that are headquartered in Amsterdam. The campaign celebrates

the fact that the city is home to 178 nationalities, and that 90% of its inhabitants speak fluent English. It also emphasises why the city is a great place to live: state-of-the-art cultural facilities, a compact scale that enables young talent to cycle to work, direct flights to 323 destinations and high-speed rail services to Paris and other European capitals. Building homes for talent One of the bottlenecks for international students is the lack of accommodation. The shortage in housing has been addressed by public-private efforts to develop new investments in the socialhousing sector, and more recently in the private student-housing sector. Between 2010 and 2014, 7,780 new housing units have been added. Expected growth in the number of international students has resulted in a new programme to have at least 8,000 new student rooms constructed over the next few years. A special programme team for youth and student housing is working with investors and to identify opportunities and to accelerate studenthousing projects. Linking talent to work and entrepreneurship Amsterdam actively stimulates the links between international students and the local labour market. More than 30% of Amsterdam’s working population in the private sector is employed by foreign companies. The city supports international job fairs such as the International Talent Event Amsterdam. Amsterdam is also one of Europe’s leading start-up hubs, with several incubators and more than 800 start-ups. An example is the ACE Venture Lab, an incubator that helps young entrepreneurs bring their ideas to the market. It is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, the VU University, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Amsterdam School of Arts. One-stop shop: cutting red tape A key proposition to international talent is the Expatcenter Amsterdam, which services companies and the growing international talent pool with a one-stop-shop for all questions and services related to migration. The Dutch government is supporting Amsterdam’s talent strategies, for example with the Orientation Year. This allows recent international graduates from Dutch schools to search for work in the Netherlands for up to a year. And once a highly skilled migrant has found a job here, that Orientation Year status can easily be converted into a long-term residence permit. Encouraging talent, at every phase Amsterdam is a city that helps international students at every stage of their trajectory, from finding the right school and the right place to live, to getting a job and building a career. And this helps ensure that Amsterdam’s students of today will become its most enthusiastic ambassadors of tomorrow.


Smaller university cities lost in globalisation or hidden gems? In the face of increasing globalisation, with the biggest cities reaping the greatest rewards, knowledge economy specialist Willem van Winden examines the future for smaller university cities. There’s no denying it: we live in an urban world where, rightly or wrongly, bigger is perceived as ‘better’, and a handful of cities – capitals like London, Berlin or Amsterdam, and large cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Milan and Barcelona – have become magnets for international talent and investment. These cities appeal to firms because of the power of agglomeration economies: big cities offer greater opportunity, higher productivity and wages. They have many more culture, leisure and consumption possibilities so are more attractive to talent; labour markets function better and there is greater innovation. In short, big cities are the clear winners in a globalised world where investment, students, skilled knowledge workers and tourists are increasingly mobile. But where does that leave their smaller counterparts? How can Europe’s ‘second university cities’ attract talented knowledge workers without the big-city frills and thrills? Academic excellence as an economic asset For some cities, the answer lies in education. Petite cities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Heidelberg and Leuven have, in recent decades, turned their age-old academic excellence into an economic asset. Benefitting from the internationalisation of education, these cities attract the best minds from around the world, and for them education is now an export product. Practically, this means they attract more research funding – because excellence is being increasingly rewarded everywhere – and that they’ve become more entrepreneurial, spawning a growing number of successful tech start-ups in the fields of ICT, biotech and new materials. Many multinationals have established a presence in these cities to tap into the rich knowledge sources and to cherry pick the best graduates. Attracting talent is no problem, real estate and house prices are approaching premium ‘big city’ levels and gentrification is widespread. That most of these intellectual powerhouses are located near bigger cities (Oxford and Cambridge near London; Leuven near Brussels; Heidelberg near Frankfurt) offers additional benefits: access to airports, consumption/leisure opportunities nearby and access to larger job markets Universities as economic lifelines The story is different for more peripheral cities with a less ‘world-class’ academic reputation. Take Aalborg in Northern Jutland, Denmark. A formerly working-class industrial town, the majority of manufacturing jobs have disappeared since the 1970s.


Established in 1974 and with 25,000 students – an increasing number of whom come from abroad – the local university has become the city’s lifeline and growth engine. In the last decade, a small but substantial knowledge-based economy has emerged around it, offering jobs for the highly educated in the fields of environmental technology, ICT and medical technology. But talent retention remains a problem: after graduation, the majority of students leave for Copenhagen and beyond, where there are more jobs, better opportunities and where a more frenetic urban life awaits Aalborg faces an additional challenge in the not-too-distant future. A large chunk of the university’s intake traditionally comes from the surrounding rural region, but numbers are slowly but surely decreasing due to an ageing population. To retain growth, the university must work hard to attract students from elsewhere in Denmark and beyond, and to do this they must be inventive and develop a unique value proposition that stands out among a sea of rivals. Driving students into the city What can stakeholders in Aalborg do? Across Europe, cities in similar situations provide a variety of potential strategies. One is to develop a ‘unique selling point’ revolving around a special type of education that contrasts with competing universities. Aalborg University specialises in problem-based learning, and markets this aggressively. In contrast to more traditional curricula, students have to work in teams to solve the real-world problems of companies or institutions. Students are attracted to the idea that they’ll learn skills that easily transfer to the labour market. A second strategy is to increase the attractions of the city centre and thereby attract more students. This is an especially pertinent possibility for smaller cities, where the university campus is often located outside the city centre. In such cities, academic and student life takes place in or around the campus, and the city centre often lacks the dynamic buzz of other student towns – such as Ghent or Leiden – where the university is more integrated in the urban fabric. The sedate downtown makes it more difficult to attract knowledge workers and to develop tourism. A prime example is Linkoping, in Sweden, where the campus is 4km outside the city centre. Most students live in dormitories on campus or in a small village nearby, and hardly visit the city. They live in a bubble during their studies – and are content to do so – but most see very little reason to stay in Linkoping postgraduation. The city council is attempting to change the situation by building student accommodation in the city and luring university establishments back into the centre. An innovative new urban quarter, called ‘Vallastaden’, is planned, which will be physically located between the campus and city. The city is also hosting more interesting events for students downtown.

The approach taken in Aalborg is also interesting. As in Linkoping, the city council understands the value of students as a source of dynamism in the inner city. In the last decade, the city has invested heavily in student housing downtown, to attract more students to the city centre. The council presents the centre as a platform for student life, hosting cultural performances by student unions, facilitating pop-up stores for students entrepreneurs, and so on. This approach creates an inherent tension between the ambitions of city authorities and campus managers, however. City authorities want to attract students but the university has a vested financial interest in keeping them on campus. Universities typically want to optimise the campus and develop/exploit it further, by adding new facilities such as housing, restaurants and businesses. Marketing smaller university cities There is more that cities can do. City authorities and the university in Magdeburg, in the former East Germany, have developed an original marketing approach together, to overcome

Youth Housing in Aalborg by Himmerland Housing Association Project by Henning Larsen Architects. Photo: Martin Schubert


negative perceptions of the city. They created a virtual travel agency, called ‘Far East’, where prospective students from Germany can book an adventurous trip to ‘discover’ Magdeburg as a student city.

To retain their position in Europe’s knowledge economy, smaller university cities – especially those without world-class universities or in more peripheral locations – cannot be complacent. They need to outsmart their larger competitors by developing effective collaborations between city, university and companies. Concerted action – as in the case of Tampere and Magdeburg – can help to make the city more attractive, to develop and sell a unique value proposition for (foreign) students and to increase the economic spin-off of the university (via student and academic entrepreneurship, technology transfer and so on). With vision, leadership and determination from all sides, these cities can thrive.

The city of Tampere in Finland, meanwhile, puts all its bets on its students. In 2014, the city and its universities developed a plan to make Tampere the most student-friendly city in the country. Led by the Mayor’s office, all the relevant stakeholders –including student representatives – met several times to discuss where improvements were needed. This has resulted in a strategic plan with a number of concrete actions in the fields of housing, services, transportation and employment/entrepreneurship. In a series of workshops students defined key challenges and also proposed solutions and identified key stakeholders needed to redress the balance. The findings from the workshops formed the basis for further discussions with key organisations. The implementation of the strategic plans will be examined in connection with the city’s budget preparations, both with politicians and civil servants. Stakeholders in Tampere managed not only to develop a joint strategy but also, very pragmatically, translated it into action that will lead to tangible results.

Willem van Winden Professor at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences Lead Expert of EUnivercities

Strategies for the future It’s an urban world, and big cities increasingly attract and retain talent at the expense of their smaller counterparts. But they won’t ‘take it all’. Europe’s smaller and medium-sized university cities have much to offer: they are quieter, greener, the cost of living is lower, they have the human scale and many boast a lively student scene. Their research base, if good enough, can be a source of economic development. At the same time, these cities must face and accept the reality that most students will leave after graduation to begin their careers elsewhere.

Photo by Olivier Ezratty

Population growth forecast: European capital cities capture growth 20.0








Source: Oxford Economics

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Universities, local governments and service

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Students in Finland


Students in Sweden


Students in Denmark


Students in Austria


Students in Poland


on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest)

International students can have an important economic impact on local communities – not just through tuition fees Aspects that for influence paid to universities, but also through their contributions Cost accommodation and other services. In the UK alone, international Surroundings students contribute over £5.6 billion from personal and living 4% expenditures. Overall

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While stakeholders are obviously very happy about 7% these Personal & consider what international numbers, not many take the time to Professional students prioritise when studying abroad. How important are 8% development academic aspects as compared to the atmosphere of the city? Where does accommodation rank? Each stakeholder has a vested nternational students interest in prioritising their own area, of course: accommodation would recommend providers will usually consider Uni student serviceshousing to be central to their experience student satisfaction, while teachers will name academic subjects and teaching methods as the most important factors. City officials, meanwhile, will naturally refer to city atmosphere. However, if you ask the students themselves the answers are much more complex.


Social life

A holistic approach Overall, students there’s never For everyinternational review on STeXX.eu, StudyPortalssay makes a donation to one thing UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa” campaign on behalf of the student. thatThe makes up for a great study experience; rather, it requires a goal: to fund the building of a school in Guinea-Bissau. combination of factors.

Students from Continue to:Italy


Students from Spain 9.1 Expand the course Students from Poland 9.0 offerings in English Students from France 9.0 Students from Austria 8.8centred, Use student interactive teaching on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) methods

Modernize facilities Satisfaction rating and equipement





Administration between home and host univers




International Increase your student student satisfaction satisfaction by country of origin

International student satisfaction by country of destination

International providers directly benefit from the economic student satisfaction shared by 6,900 students during impact of international students – but are by country of origin the 2013/2014 academic year on STEXX

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3 out of 4 students comment on academics, city & culture, social life, and university services

of international Avoid students complicated, would recommend lengthy, bureaucratic their experience processes

City & Culture Student from Hungary about University of Chester, Provide (obligatory) United Kingdom: language training to all student focused staff

The city itself is really fascinating and calm, with a lot of people For every review on STeXX.e from different cultures and background. At the university, the UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa staff was really welcoming and well-organised. The lectures are The goal: to fund the buildin up-to date, and interesting, and the lecturers are all enthusiastic about the lecture they at: held. The atmosphere really good and he full report at: www.studyportals.eu/studentsatisfaction Visit our Student Experience Exchange platform www.stexx.eu Contact us: intelligence@studyporta Download is the full report at: www.studyportals StudyPortals – one the largest study choice platform for students I enjoy studying here. The university has a lot of social groups – decided to take a more in-depth look at the topic. While including plenty of sport opportunities. The accommodation analysing 16,427 comments from some 6,924 students about their the university offered me is quite good, clean and the room has international study experience, they uncovered four key factors everything a student needs. that most influence student satisfaction.




Stakeholders attempting to ensure student satisfaction need to see how these four factors combine:

Factors that must be negated to improve international student satisfaction:

1. City atmosphere, appearance and size In the StudyPortals research, comments regarding city atmosphere are not necessarily in the majority, but this is named as one of the most important factors in extremely positive reviews. The survey revealed that students mostly consider a city’s atmosphere and its appearance – as well as its size – but some respondents also referenced interaction with the locals, especially in terms of friendliness, openness and helpfulness. In this way, the atmosphere of a city has an important impact on the international student experience, setting the overall tone for day-to-day life. City atmosphere was mentioned in over 27% of all positive student reviews.

1. Academic life not challenging Firstly, students expect to be challenged in their academic lives. Their main purpose for studying is to better themselves and develop the skills they will need in their professional lives. Low academic standards, complacent teachers or an inability to attend classes because of scheduling issues can be extremely demotivating.

2. Interesting and challenging study subjects Of course, an incredibly important element of student satisfaction is how they spend their core time: what they are studying. Students prefer programmes that are well structured, well organised and flexible. Satisfaction with study programmes and a sense of improvement, learning and development while working towards a future career all contribute to self-fulfilment and happiness for international students. Academics were mentioned in over 25% of all positive reviews, with the subject of study one of the most mentioned academic aspects. 3. Good teachers Studying a great subject is only part of the story; students also expect great teachers, who guide, inspire and support them in their educational journey. Having a teacher who recognises the uniqueness of each international student builds a sense of rapport and mutual understanding, so it’s no surprise that teachers were mentioned in more than 5% of all positive reviews in the StudyPortals survey. 4. International atmosphere Named in 15% of all positive reviews, an international atmosphere does not mean simply having a large number of international students; it means facilitating interaction between international and local students – which is sometimes influenced by where and how students live. Survey respondents also emphasise local activities – travelling, sports and cultural outings – as contributing to a positive study-abroad experience. Stakeholders considering how to improve the international atmosphere of a city could adopt easy-to-implement solutions such as facilitating interactions between students and local communities, providing volunteering opportunities, supporting cultural events in English and allowing students the opportunity to take initiative and develop their own events and groups based on their interests.

2. Poor accommodation and bureaucracy The second most-mentioned negative factor in the student experience is accommodation: being unable to find a room, high rent prices, poor quality or lack of university support in finding accommodation can be frustrating and stressful for students. With one in five students mentioning negative incidents in their search for suitable accommodation, this issue raises an important red flag that universities, cities and accommodation providers need to start addressing collectively. 3. Costs too high The issue of accommodation goes hand-in-hand with that of overall living costs. The premium paid on tuition in some countries, combined with expensive accommodation and high costs of living in some cities around Europe can be a tough burden to manage for most students, 13% of whom mention costs in their negative reviews. 4. Poor city and culture experience Just as the atmosphere in a city can attract students, on the flip side, having to navigate a negative atmosphere created by unfriendly or unhelpful locals can be extremely detrimental to the overall student experience. It seems clear that all relevant stakeholders want students to feel welcomed and have the best academic and social learning environment. To achieve this, every actor needs to fully participate and start thinking in terms of holistic student experiences.

Student from Italy about University of Trondheim, Norway: Trondheim is not the most famous city in Norway, and not even the biggest, but it is a very lively study town with a very nice city centre and a lot of student organizations (also ESN). Last but not least, NTNU is said to be the best University in Norway, and I think this reputation is wholly justified by the big range of courses you can choose from, held in two campuses (one in the centre and one a little bit outside town) and characterized by the impeccable organization Norwegian people are known to have.


About StudyPortals StudyPortals is the international study choice platform, enabling students to find and compare study options across borders. With over 60,000 published courses from more than 2,100 participating universities and some 13 million visitors per year, StudyPortals is a leading information resource. About STeXX.com The StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards are based on international student feedback. These reviews provide rare insight into universities’ performance from a student perspective. The universities included in the award have to receive at least 15 reviews since the previous academic year. Institutions with an average rating of 9.5 or higher receive an Award for Outstanding International Student Satisfaction. The Excellent International Student Satisfaction Award is given to universities with an average rating of 9.0 or higher. Universities that receive a score above 8.0 get a Very Good International Student Satisfaction Award. For each review submitted on STeXX, StudyPortals donates the value equal to one brick to UNICEF’s Schools for Africa campaign on behalf of the student, with the ultimate goal to build a new primary school in Guinea Bissau. Reviews taken from STeXX.com – the student experience website:

Student from the Netherlands about Linköping University, Sweden:

“On arrival in Linköping we went to the university [...] After a short search to find the Zenith building on campus I got a welcome from the international officer. I got a stack of stuff, including maps of the town, checklists, how to order internet for your room, a Tele2 Contact Amigos Prepaid SIM card for your phone (Allows unlimited phone time to other students with the same card and very cheap rates to a fixed phone in The Netherlands) and I was brought to my room in Ryd. Most rooms are in the area, only 5 minutes by bike from the university where the bulk of the students live, 2-3000 in total. It has a supermarket, amnesties and a bar centrally located. The rooms in Ryd are all in corridor-form, housing 8 students. Each room is about 15m2 andInternational has a private bathroom. The kitchen and student satisfaction by 6,900 students during living room is shared. The placement in which roomshared is semi-random, by country of origin the 2013/2014 academic year on STEX but the university strives to mix international students in with Students from 9.1 Swedish student as much asItaly possible.”


73,000 review

Students from Spain


Students from Poland


Students from France


Students from Austria


on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest)

Aspects that in

Satisfaction rating


Student from Finland about Maynooth University, Ireland:

“Maynooth is great! It's small, quiet and it's very easy to run into people. Because everyone lives close by and the campus is small, International it's easy to keep contact. The staff is most friendly and satisfaction depending student on the faculty the profs might give you some really great of origin by country new insights.”

89% 73,000 reviews


Personal & Professional development



7% 8%


International of international studentsstudent satisfaction by shared by 6,900 students during 11% would recommend Uni services country of destination the 2013/2014 academic year on STEXX their experience

Contin 14%

Students from Italy


Students in Finland


Students from Spain


Students in Sweden


Students from Poland


Students in Denmark

Social life 9.1

Students from France


Students in Austria


Students from Austria


Student from Slovakia about Akdeniz University, on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) Turkey:



For every review on STeXX.eu, StudyPortals makes a donation to UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa” campaign on behalf of the student. in Poland 9.0 The goal: toStudents fund the building of a school in Guinea-Bissau.

on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest)

Download the full report at: www.studyportals.eu/studentsatisfaction

Visit our Stu

“Why I would recommend to choose Antalya and Akdeniz Aspects that influence satisfaction Satisfaction rating University is the location: 10 minutes far from the sea with brilliant Cost Surroundings view on mountains, perfect campus with palm and orange trees, 4% which made my day every day :), great climate, delicious cuisine in Overall Academics 6% Impro the University canteen, extremely lots of opportunities for students 7% 25% - courses, sport activities, trips, conferences, theatre performances Personal & Professional etc. and everything for free. Regarding the quality of study it’s 8% development hard to evaluate complexly as 4 months is quite a short period of 3 out of 4 students time and international students are taken more relaxed :). But I comment on academics, of international students am sure it gave me an added value, the studywould was more interesting city & culture, social life, 11% recommend Uni services and university services than in Slovakia, relationships with professorstheir wereexperience very friendly 25% and personal and I was nicely surprised many times, that there 14% City & Culture is more development in the study system than in Slovakia (e.g. professors printing out all the presentations in advance, dinner with Social life all professors, very quality consultations and especially interest of the teachers). Additionally there is a huge interest from the sidereview of on STeXX.eu, StudyPortals makes a donation to For every “Schools for Africa” campaign on behalf of the student. students towards us, foreigners. They loved our company UNICEF’s andwere The goal: to fund the building of a school in Guinea-Bissau. very curious and interested in us, that was very nice.”


Download the full report at: www.studyportals.eu/studentsatisfaction


Visit our Student Experience Exchange platform at: www.stexx.eu


“ I live in Aachen to study architecture. It's (sometimes too) small, but very historic. My favorite spot in the city is the near Stadtgarten. Its a lively park; great to relax, to read and to make some sketches! �

Tobias Alexander Schmidt, Aachen, Germany Image by: www.imagesconnect.com


Keep on moving How the eu helps kids move abroad Brikena Xhomaqi andcross-border Gabrielle An additional aim is to support andNarcy cross-sectorial cooperation between actors in the fields of education, training and explore how EU policies are both supporting youth, so they can tackle challenges together. student mobility and tackling barriers to freedom of movement, and explain what can be done in the future to support continued growth. In 2015, 200 million students were enrolled at higher education institutions, as compared to 47 million in 1980. Of this number, 4.5 million are currently studying abroad, and these figures are expected to increase to 8 million by 2025.1 Student mobility is rising at an impressive pace, a growth that EU policies have been supporting for the last 20 years, with policymakers constantly seeking new ways to better enable free movement. Numerous barriers still get in the way of student mobility However, a clear commitment is required to sustain and continue this growth. This is especially important in overcoming those obstacles identified by various studies as barriers to student mobility. The annual Erasmus Student Network (ESN) student survey has highlighted several difficulties since its first edition back in 2006. Credit transfer and accreditation recognition abroad remain the biggest issues, with the 2014 survey showing that 73% of students were encountering this problem. Unsurprisingly, financial issues also remain a major obstacle to student mobility, with 57% of nonmobile students naming this as the main hurdle. Long bureaucratic procedures, doubts about the quality of higher education abroad or the fear of prolonged studies were also mentioned. The 2009 survey also revealed that most students (83%) search for information about practical considerations such as housing before their exchange begins; yet only 54% said they received this information from their host university. It seems clear, then, that international student support services such as housing remain an under-explored facet of student mobility, despite its correlation to academic success and student satisfaction. While there are measures in place to overcome logistical barriers for students with disabilities, little progress has been made on pre-departure and arrival services for other international students. They are often left to resolve housing issues or concerns relating to banking, residence permits and social security themselves.

From Socrates to Erasmus Plus Since its launch in 1987, in various incarnations the Erasmus programme has undergone significant changes and improvements to facilitate student and trainee mobility, both across Europe and globally. The Socrates Programme (1994-2006), Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP, 2007-2013) and Erasmus+ (the current programme, launched back in 2013) have all addressed the abovementioned obstacles with member states and European policymakers working together. Commitment to better mobility comes in the form of cross-country portable grants, with the amount relevant to the destination country’s cost of living, revision of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) users’ guide and online linguistic support. The newest framework programme, Erasmus+, provides additional opportunities for students in Europe and abroad. The mid-review of the programme in its previous iteration, LLP, had indicated the need for a single unified programme and to widen access for nonEU countries as well as non-institutional stakeholders in order to adapt to a complex global higher education landscape. With Erasmus+, the EU policy priorities are, among others, With

"Stakeholders from public, private and institutional backgrounds are being encouraged to join forces to ease student mobility"

Confirming this trend in 2014, the ‘Erasmus Impact Study’ shows that despite the positive impact of European mobility programmes on student life and the fact that higher education institutions (HEIs) reap substantial benefit from mobility, student services and accreditation recognition still need to be improved.


ESN Team

Erasmus+, the EU priorities are, among others, to promote the mobility of millions of staff, students, those in vocational training and volunteers. An additional aim is to support cross-border and cross-sectorial cooperation between actors in the fields of education, training and youth, so they can tackle challenges together. To do so, student satisfaction will be measured annually when students return to their home university and graduate. Policymakers on national and European levels will have direct access to data about the impact of the programme and will be able to undertake the necessary measures to overcome remaining and/or future barriers. The Yerevan Ministerial Conference in May 2015 confirmed member states’ commitment to overcoming the majority of mobility barriers, primarily through the regular monitoring of the Bologna Process implementation via the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG).2 Increased attention has been paid to dismantling barriers to mobility on a European level through EHEA,3 which has encouraged countries to take efforts on a national level. However, according to the ‘Bologna With Students Eyes’ study (ESU)4 just over half of participating countries have put measures and programmes in place to improve education and training opportunities across Europe and to internationalise higher education. How the EU is moving forward The trend led by Erasmus+ is becoming increasingly noticeable: stakeholders from public, private and institutional backgrounds are being encouraged to join forces to ease student mobility. The EU is providing support and encouraging forward-looking cooperation on main policy priorities.

This year, a call for proposals by Erasmus+ under the programme name ‘Forward Looking Cooperation’ has led to several project proposals by stakeholders in response to a series of higher education challenges. Among those approved was ‘HousErasmus+’, a two-year research project lead by the ESN together with UNICA (Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe) and Campus Europea. HousErasmus+ also comprises public student catering and housing providers such as CNOUS (France) and DSW (Germany), as well as private providers like Uniplaces, an international start-up that facilitates student accommodation for international students across Europe. Together, these stakeholders will identify best practices in student housing and recommend affordable student accommodation solutions to policymakers. Student access to information about mobility opportunities will increase through the new community of Erasmus+ students and its alumni association, launched with the support of the European Commission in early 2015. This community will help students and alumni before, during and after their stay abroad through several initiatives, and will survey their satisfaction annually . These projects reflect the efforts that the EU is currently making to support and fund various initiatives around remaining student mobility barriers, including employability, integration, accommodation and more. These policies are in support of the EU’s 2020 targets, but there is still a long way to go to ensure that the study abroad experience is accessible to a wider range of candidates, and data on student support services is one of the main areas that should be explored in the coming years. Brikena Xhomaqi Head of Institutional Relations, Uniplaces Gabrielle Narcy Marketing Manager, Uniplaces


Numbers released by the European Association for International Education (EAIE) in 2015.


The Bologna Follow Up Group (BFUG) comprises representatives of the 47 founding

countries of the Bologna Process, the European Commission and key consultation members such as UNESCO and the EUA. 3

European Higher Education Area was launched during the Bologna Process’ ten-year

anniversary in March 2010, at the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference. Bologna With Student Eyes’ is a biannual student study on the Bologna Process conducted


by the European Students’ Union.

Brikena Xhomaqi

Gabrielle Narcy


The campus as USP the european campus of the future is the university city Alexandra den Heijer and George Tzovlas explain why the campus holds the key to Europe’s reputation as an international education destination. Universities are economic growth engines, with their location increasingly determining where innovation takes place, where young talent lives, where related businesses will establish (new) offices, shops or laboratories and where the economy will grow. This not only generates jobs for knowledge workers, but also adds to employment in (support) services and to urban diversity – with socio-economical and socio-cultural benefits for the local community. Cultural heritage and 1960s concrete More than anywhere in the world, European universities are located in (historical) inner cities and cultural heritage buildings, which highlight both the history of Europe and of these universities. The characteristics of the European city and the quality of European campus facilities are key in attracting and retaining knowledge workers such as students and talented researchers. But the current state of the European campus is also a (potential) problem for Europe’s knowledge economy. The majority of university buildings date from the 1960s and ’70s, and now require sustainable transformation and substantial reinvestment – at the cost of investment in education and research even while they add to their quality. Dysfunctional facilities and unattractive, sometimes desolate campus locations can repel knowledge workers, which negatively affects productivity and the competitive advantage of European universities, and consequently of European cities. Research background This article is based on the book The European Campus – Heritage and Challenges, which includes data on more than 850 universities in all 28 EU member states. Together these European universities – offering PhD programmes as well as bachelor and master degrees – accommodate 13,6 million students on about 170 million m2 of floor space. The term ‘campus’ refers to the buildings and land used for university or university-related functions. These do not necessarily exist in isolation. Functionally, ‘campus’ does not only refer to traditional academic facilities, such as lecture halls, classrooms, libraries and laboratories, but also to residential functions like student housing and hotels for guests, accommodations for related businesses – including incubators for start-ups – and leisure and retail functions like sports and cultural facilities, restaurants and (coffee) bars. Altogether, these necessary campus functions resemble those of a city, which offers the opportunity to merge city and campus for ‘smart growth’ purposes, but which also raises the


possibility – and threat – to create a new city that competes with the existing one. Europe 2020 – smart, sustainable and inclusive “In a changing world, we want the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and the member states deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Concretely, the Union has set five ambitious objectives – on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy – to be reached by 2020.” This is stated on the homepage of the European Commission (EC), summarising the ‘Europe 2020’ initiative, the EU's growth strategy for the coming decade. In this policy context the university campus can be perceived as a (potential) problem as well as an asset for European universities – and consequently for Europe’s knowledge economy and Europe 2020.

"Students increasingly choose a place to study like tourists choose a place to visit" Universities as economic growth engines Prior research (Van den Berg et al. 2005, Perry & Wiewel 2009, Curvelo 2010, Den Heijer 2011) shows that universities contribute to the urban and regional economy in many ways. They are large employers, they attract knowledge workers whose presence will be a key factor in attracting businesses that depend on them and they generate start-ups, research institutes and other innovative spin-offs. They also attract visitors (for conferences, academic networks, graduation ceremonies and other events) who need hotels, restaurants and other urban amenities, and they accommodate an increasingly international population that will consider the university city their home – at least for a certain period in their lives – and that will spend their money in the region. Universities also generate employment in printing, catering, construction, maintenance, energy and cleaning services, which illustrates that investing in the knowledge economy will also create service jobs for the local community. Heritage European universities Europe has the oldest universities in the world, and many European universities still own or use the buildings they added to their campuses centuries ago. Prior research (Den Heijer 2011) shows that there is a tendency towards selling these buildings and building new buildings for similar functions, usually at locations

further away from the city centre. Reasons include the relatively high market values (due to their inner-city locations), the relatively high operating costs and the inflexibility for growth. However, when increasing the benefits per m2 – either by intensifying use to allow many user groups to enjoy the heritage or by allowing external users who pay rent – heritage buildings could still be feasible business cases for universities. There are many European references that illustrate this (Den Heijer 2011). Branding ‘the European experience’ Research (Studyportals 2012) also shows that students consider the quality of the city – and inner-city locations – as important factors in choosing where to study: place matters when selecting a university, especially when the academic reputation of multiple universities is similar. Paradoxically, the fact that many activities of knowledge workers can take place anywhere gives knowledge workers the freedom to work where they want. Increasingly they choose locations based on criteria tourists use to select places to visit: density of people, sense of place, cultural history and quality of public space. Nonetheless, many universities are still considering leaving the city for more isolated campus concepts, for financial and functional reasons including adding footprint, more flexibility or less expensive buildings to their campuses. However, this tendency – and the lack of resources to invest in quality – can be a (potential) problem for Europe’s knowledge economy.

"More than 850 European universities accommodate over 13.6 million students on about 170 million m2 gross floor area" The campus as city In the 21st century, the ideal university campus increasingly resembles a city, with hotels and housing for students and staff, restaurants, cafés, cultural and sports facilities, accommodation for start-ups and related businesses – next to the traditional mix of office space, lecture halls, classrooms, libraries and laboratories. In the global competition for talent, universities are more and more dependent on the ranking of their institutions and the quality of life they can offer, on and off-campus: students increasingly choose a place to study like tourists choose places to visit. Density of people, cultural heritage, unique characteristics and quality of public space are similar criteria. As a worst-case scenario, university campuses could become parasites to existing cities, moving urban activities and functions to (isolated) campuses. Consequently, this will also move the university population – students, staff and the many visitors to universities – with substantial socio-economic and socio-cultural consequences for the city that they leave. As a best-case scenario,

BK city, TU Delft

universities and urban authorities join forces in attracting and retaining knowledge workers and in planning, designing and managing the campus of the future, making use of the strengths of both the city and the university. The ideal campus of the future is the European city. Dr Alexandra den Heijer, Associate Professor at TU Delft, and George Tzovlas MSc, PhD candidate at TU Delft This article is based on the introduction of the book The European Campus –Heritage and Challenges, published at TU Delft in October 2014. http://managingtheuniversitycampus.nl

The necessary mix of campus functions – from traditional academic functions to retail & leisure – resembling a city ACADAMIC classrooms, library, offices, laboratories, lecture halls, ... RESIDENTAL student housing, hotels, ... RELATED BUSINESS start-ups, incubators, industry, ... RETAIL & LEISURE sports, restaurants, cafes, ... INFRASTRUCTURE


The strategic value of quality student housing capacity for universities Housing Capacity Has Become a Strategic Asset Today’s universities compete for students based on factors from location and academic programmes to facilities from gyms to housing. Daniel Guhr explains why student housing should be at the core of all universities’ growth strategies.

ICG’s 2015 Global City Universities Cost of Living Index (Select Universities)

Student housing has moved to the forefront of universities’ strategic planning for three reasons: 1) Quality, dedicated housing is typically in short supply across universities in Australia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand, as well as select US universities. Such undersupply situations have begun to negatively universities’ abilities to recruit students. 2) The cost of housing close to urban-based universities has increased sharply over the last decade. Research undertaken by ICG shows that annual student rents are creeping towards €10,000, with some universities exceeding this level. 3) Housing has evolved from a low-end commodity into a vital strategic asset for universities, used to attract and convert applicants and to drive social and educational goals based on community-oriented approaches. Housing costs versus total cost Acquiring an undergraduate or graduate degree in many cases has become the largest investment most people will make outside of purchasing a family home. Increasing numbers of students are investing well over €100,000 in a degree, with some investing more than €200,000 when all costs are considered. Illuminate Consulting Group (ICG) has labeled this amount “TCODA”: the Total Cost of Degree Acquisition. TCODA is one of multiple analytical perspectives contained in ICG’s International Tuition-based Competition Database (ITBCD), which contains tuition fees, housing and cost of living data from more than 200 ranked universities in 20 countries, covering around 14,000 degree programmes. ITBCD is used by leading universities and governmental agencies to calibrate for competitiveness, value and future revenue scenarios. ITBCD data shows that housing costs now often account for approximately half of a student’s cost of living budget, and is increasingly outpacing tuition costs. The graph above shows the annual cost an undergraduate student would incur in 20 metro areas from around the world.


Notes: Values reflect living costs for students over a 12-month period. Housing costs are the average of a sample of shared accommodation (two-three bedroom apartment with rent and utilities divided) within 20 minutes’ walk of the campus (or within 15 minutes’ commute by public transport). Data was collected to reflect expenses of international students. Source: ICG’s ITBCD

Quality housing’s contribution to competiveness Today’s university applicants are seeking an experience that goes beyond academics. In the face of rising cost levels, students increasingly expect access to a broad array of amenities, and make decisions based on cost and convenience. Given these expectations, universities can use housing in a similar way to scholarships, competitively positioning housing as a benefit to students in several ways: • By guaranteeing university housing, especially in crowded rental markets • By offering desired candidates access to preferred housing options • By providing better-located housing at lower than market rates The value of housing to students Just as different segments of students having emerged based on their rental budgets (see graph to the right), students also value different aspects of housing in specific ways. As part of ITBCD, ICG developed a “value add” methodology that models the value higher education institution services and infrastructure offered to students. These services include internships, scholarships, alumni networks and a location’s attractiveness. The latter is driven by a number of factors, ranging

from international flight connections to the availability of housing. For many – especially international – students, housing on or near the campus is extremely important. These students are typically willing to pay a rent premium. This preference is assessed in ITBCD student surveys, and then quantified in terms of the respective value students are willing to ascribe to housing as part of their evaluation of the overall cost of attending an institution. For institutions, this information is critical in terms of their relative competitiveness and even their ability to raise tuition fees. A University’s Location Matters International and domestic students alike exhibit a wide range of housing needs, and there’s little systematic or quantitative research available. The following table offers a conceptual approach to explaining the kinds of students – by level of affluence expressed in monthly rent payments – relative to their prevalence in different cities. The latter have been classified into Global Metro Areas (e.g., Los Angeles, London); Secondary Metro Areas (e.g., Vancouver, Munich); Regional Locations (e.g., Perth, Leeds); and Remote Locations (e.g., Bergen, Fairbanks). One key insight from the above table is the interplay between affluent students and high(er) cost locations. Affluent students have increasingly sought out expensive cities while less affluent students have found themselves priced out of many of these cities. This dynamic can shape the student segments served by universities and housing providers alike. Future housing needs Given the competitive value of student housing, universities cannot continue to neglect student accommodation needs. Universities must strategically evaluate their enrollment growth potential and the capacity of the local housing market to support that growth.

Implications for investors and providers Demand for student housing is driven by enrolment patterns. Investment in a given market must be underpinned by knowledge of enrolment growth expectations at local institutions and the spending patterns of incoming students. This requires an understanding of the long-term decision-making approaches of universities with regard to the role of housing. Benchmarking can be essential: information on developments in comparable cities is often examined by universities, which are typically risk-averse and respond more positively to initiatives that have seen success elsewhere. Based on knowledge of enrolment and spending trends in a given market, investments can be made in a diversified portfolio of housing offerings. Recent research from rental agency EJ Harris showed that at the top of the rental market in London, wealthy international students spend £1,500 a week – more than £72,000 per year. In such an environment, providers can differentiate between high-end luxury housing and more moderately priced accommodations. Lastly, a diversified student-housing offering can consist of more than just living space. Housing developments can incorporate recreational and retail space to maximise convenience for students and attract additional revenue streams. This can include partnering with well-known brands delivering a variety of indemand services and goods. The next decade of student housing will offer opportunities unlike any other in the past.

Daniel Guhr Managing Director, Illuminate Consulting Group

Increasing the availability of student housing reflects a longterm, large-scale investment in infrastructure for a university. By shifting towards working with private parties and/or other local education providers, universities can take on a more flexible approach to property development. In particular, this may entail a multi-use “university village” approach incorporating housing, retail and other event infrastructure. Greater investment in student housing should be accompanied by more direct positioning of housing and amenities in university marketing. The ability to pursue educational goals while staying in a quality living environment presents an attractive proposition for prospective students.

Student Segment

Rent level (monthly)t

Extremely Affluent


Highly affluent


Global Metro Areat

Secondary Metro Areat

Regional Location

Remote Location

Affluent 800-1,200 Less than Affluent


Not affluent


Notes: Dots denote prevalence of Student Segment on a scale of zero to five. Information is based on global data on rent levels, international student mobility, ability to pay and destination preference. Source: ICG


How UNIVERSITIES go global From Branch Campus to Sandwich Programme International education is not just about students going abroad; universities are becoming more mobile and global too. The opening (and closing) of branch campuses often makes the headlines, but there are many other ways for universities to offer their programmes abroad. The Class of 2020 identified seven ways of universities going global. Branch campuses Purpose-built branch campuses are facilitating the long-term presence of large, internationally oriented universities abroad. Essentially a higher education institution run by a university based in a different country, branch campuses aim to deliver identical degree programmes to students in both home and host countries. The provision of land and buildings for branch campuses is facilitated either by the local government, a private company or third-party sponsors. Joint Degrees Joint degrees are widely offered as an alternative to global university campuses, circumnavigating transnational legislation issues and construction costs. A university and its partner institutions jointly develop and deliver a programme leading to a single joint award and transcript issued by all participating stakeholders. One institution takes the lead in financial, administrative and quality assurance matters but the award references all partner institutions.

Sandwich Programmes So-called ‘sandwich’ programmes represent a more limited form of educational cooperation than joint degrees. As part of a sandwich programme, students take the first and last parts of their study course at their home university, while the central section is taken at a cooperating institution. Such programmes allow a student from the Netherlands, for example, to study for her first and third years at her university in Amsterdam, with the second year spent abroad ­– in the USA, for example. The advantages of gathering international experience and stimulating intercultural exchange are highly valued by human resources professionals when sourcing talent. Twinning Agreements An additional option for higher education institutions in different countries is to secure twinning agreements. These result in the creation of a common education programme. Students at the two universities take the exact same course, down to the reading list and exam structure, even though their teachers are usually locally employed.

The term ‘joint degree’ corresponds to various forms of cooperation between institutions in different countries. Joint or ‘multiple’ degrees, as they are sometimes called, are among the most frequently employed types of inter-institution cooperation. Such programmes usually include a degree of mobility, whether physical or virtual, on the part of students or teaching/research staff.

Research partnerships In recent years, research-based partnerships have played an important role in elevating higher education institutions’ reputations, as they bring positive perceived value for university applicants. This type of partnership connects universities with both national and international institutions as well as for-profit and non-profit organisations. The process lays the foundations for high-profile networking and work collaboration on projects with an increased value and importance for society. The research-based advice provided to international authorities has a wide scope and includes tasks relating to the monitoring of international agreements, contributions to international reports and evaluations, as well as the completion of consultancy and project-based assignments abroad – for example, in developing countries.

Dual Degrees A dual degree comprises a jointly delivered programme resulting in separate awards granted by each partner university. This results in an extremely international student profile, a strong educational platform and the opportunity to pursue a career in multiple countries.

Working with specialists in the fields of science, research and development contributes to the image of universities, demonstrating influence from a global perspective. Additionally, it provides students with an incentive to profit from enrolling in a particular university and make use of its broad partner network for internships.

Franchising Another way for universities to attract international talent is via franchising, whereby a university authorises an approved partner institution to deliver – and in particular cases, assess – part or all of an approved programme.

Going global With transnational education continuing to show healthy growth and the scope becoming increasingly diverse, it seems clear that both traditional international students and those who seek an international education but want to stay local will be well served in the future. Globalising universities will increasingly also mean globalising accommodation preferences.

Under the terms of a franchise agreement, a university gives a host institution in another country the right to provide the


courses and degrees of the primary institution under pre-agreed conditions. Thus, the home university remains responsible for the content of the degree, while the host institution is responsible for teaching methods.

Yantai, Wikipedia

"This is a unique chance for the University of Groningen to be the first mainland European university to establish a presence in North China" Sibrand Poppema President of the Board of the University of Groningen

Groningen to open Branch Campus in Yantai The University of Groningen is opening a branch campus in the Chinese city of Yantai. If everything goes according to plan, 10,000 students will attend the Yantai branch campus in a few years. In The Netherlands, domestic student numbers are expected to fall after 2020. “Growth is not a goal in itself, but decreasing student numbers means decreasing funding. The Yantai campus is a way for us to prevent getting into a downward spiral� said university president Sibrand Poppema.


Train and Retain How countries are TRYING to retain their international talent The prospect of employment is an important consideration for students when choosing where to study. A large number of international students would like to gain work experience during and especially after their studies – and many of their host countries could certainly use the highly skilled talent. Yet many students who want to stay do not find the employment they are looking for. Simon Morris-Lange asks: What can countries do to better match the ambitions of their international students to the needs of the labour market? International students are widely acknowledged as ‘ideal’ immigrants for the labour markets of their host countries. Young, educated and equipped with academic widely recognised academic credentials and experiences, international students could mitigate future talent shortages in their host countries, especially in technical industries. In an effort to retain more international students for their domestic workforce, many host countries have passed legislation to improve post-study work and residency options for these ‘educational nomads’. In Germany, international graduates are permitted to stay for 18 months to search for employment, while in Canada international graduates can extend their stay by up to 36 months. However, despite these reforms and the willingness of talent to stay, many international students fail to find adequate employment.

“Small and mediumsized enterprises especially should do more to open their doors and networks for foreign students before graduation” 28

The study-to-work transition “When it comes to entering the labour market in their host country, international students face more obstacles than their domestic counterparts,” says Dr Cornelia Schu, Director of the Research Unit at the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR). Simon Morris-Lange, author of a recent comparative study for SVR’s Research Unit, concurs: “Many international students require intensive career support, but instead they encounter a poorly coordinated patchwork of occasional career fairs, job application training and chance meetings with service staff and company representatives who may or may not be able to help them.” For its latest study, ‘Train and Retain: Career Support for International Students in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden’, SVR’s Research Unit conducted the first international mapping of local support structures for the study-to-work transition of international students. The results of the four-country comparison are twofold: on the one hand, some higher education institutions, local businesses and public service providers have already begun to actively support labour market entry for international students. On the other, these isolated activities are not enough to retain greater numbers of international students in the local and national workforce. “Every second company in Germany needs international university graduates to cover the lack of qualified employees,” says Dr Volker Meyer-Guckel, Deputy Secretary-General of Stifterverband, a German organisation that seeks to address challenges in higher education, science and research. “That demand will continue to rise. SMEs especially in Germany should do more to open their doors and networks for foreign students before graduation.” Dr Felix Streiter, Director of the Centre for Science and Humanities of private knowledge-exchange organisation Stiftung Mercator, International Students intention to stay in host country after graduation 2011 Germany

The Netherlands



79.8 %

64.0 %

75.7 %


10.9 %

19.6 %

9.9 %


9.3 %

16.4 %

14.4 %

Master’s students

PhD students Stayers

67.0 %

61.7 %



17.7 %

18.8 %



15.3 %

19.5 %


Note: International students from non-EU countries were asked how likely they were to remain in their host country using a five-point scale. ‘Stayers’ are those who deemed their stay as ‘ likeky’, ‘Leavers’ are those who deemed their stay as ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’. Due to the low number of PhD students in the Swedish sample, staying intentions were calculated for master’s students only. Canada was not part of the survey.

Source: International survey ‘Value Migration’, SVR Research Unit/MPG 2012

table 2 Key characteristics of the legal frameworks governing the study-to-work transition of international students

Key characteristics of the legal frameworks governing the study-to-work transition of international students Canada


The Netherlands


Post-study scheme

Post-Graduation Work permit Program (PGWPP)

Section 16 subs. 4 Residence Act

Orientation Year (Zoekjaar afgestudeerde)

Residence Permit to Seek Employment After Studies

Maximum length of scheme

36 months (de18 months pending on lenght of study programme)

12 months

6 months

target groups

all international all international graduates of Cana- graduates of dian higher educa- German higher tion institutions education institutions

all international graduates of Dutch higher education institutions

all international students who have studied at least two terms at a Swedish higher education institution

eligibility period

within 90 days of at least 4 weeks completing the before student study programme permit expires

within 4 weeks of before student graduation PhD permit expires students may apply up to three years later

permitted working hours

full-time employment

full-time employ- full-time employ- full-time employment ment mentStudies

special privileges for field of employSection 16 subs. international ment does not 4 Residence Act students have to match area of study, priority access to permanent residence

Orientation Year (Zoekjaar afgestudeerde)

Residence Permit to Seek Employment After Studies

Note: The Dutch, German and Swedish regulations only apply to students who are not citizens of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland Source: Author’s compilation

explains: “Germany needs its international university graduates. Ensuring that they are well integrated into German society and the world of work is a challenge that needs to be tackled jointly by universities, municipalities and business.” Recruitment blind spots In Canada, international students have access to job application training, networking events and other job-entry support throughout their entire academic career. In addition to the universities themselves, local employment offices, settlement services and other public service providers also offer career support at approximately 50% of higher education institutions. Furthermore, small businesses in Canada show greater inclination to hire international students than similarly sized companies in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, which are often unaware of the international talent being trained on their doorsteps.

Ita ly rla n N ds or w ay Po l Po and rt ug U al ni te Sw e d Ki de ng n do Bu m lg ar ia R us si a Tu rk ey he





A us Be tria lg iu itz m ze e ch rla Re nd pu G blic er m an D en y m ar k Sp a Fi in nl an d Fr an c G e re ec H un e ga r Ire y la nd

In Germany universities, including those of applied sciences, focus their career support on the later stages of study programmes, in part because of unfavourable student-to-staff ratios and short-term funding for career services. Striving to retain more international Percentage of international students changing stutus and staying on in selected OECD countries (stay rate) 2008 or 2009 35%

students for the local workforce, public service providers are pushing for international student retention in 41% of locations surveyed by SVR. Germany’s large- and medium-sized businesses and research institutes rank among the most active recruiters of international talent, yet for the most part, international students remain a blind spot in the human resource strategies of the country’s smaller companies. The same problem is seen in the Netherlands, despite the fact that 80% of career services develop international students’ careerreadiness skills during all phases of study, often with the help of international alumni. International students in the Netherlands have a realistic chance of landing an internship or a full-time position within large- or medium-sized businesses or at one of many research institutes. In contrast, however, smaller companies rarely hire international students, partly because of the substantial processing fees charged by Dutch immigration authorities. In Sweden, the majority of universities and university colleges provide career support early on, but only 30% of institutions tailor their services to the needs of international students. A low level of assistance provided by employment agencies, chambers of commerce and other local actors further compromises students’ labour-market entry. International students currently appear to be off the radar of most human resource managers in Swedish businesses. Only large companies and research institutes show signs of interest at one in every three locations surveyed. Coordinated career support The SVR four-country comparison found that already today, a number of international students are able to find a job application training, a diversity-friendly employer or a knowledgeable and devoted public service employee on or off campus. However, so far only a few higher education institutions coordinate their career support with local businesses, public service agencies and other local actors. “In order to systematically retain more international students, local actors need to break out of their organisational silos and start sharing information in order to coordinate their individual career support,” concludes Morris-Lange. Positive about the future, Morris-Lange summarises the study’s recommendations thus: local actors must exchange information regularly, develop and pursue shared goals and communicate joint achievements in order to rally support for further coordination. Given their long-term interest in talent retention, municipalities should play a central role in the local coordination of job-entry support for international students. Simon Morris-Lange Deputy Head of Research Unit at SVR, the expert council of German foundations on integration and migration

30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5%


he r

la nd s A us C ze tr al ch Re ia pu bl ic Fr an ce C an ad a

ay an

er m


G Th e

w ay

ng Ki

te d ni U

do m


or N

Fi nl a


nd la

pa Ja N


Ze a


nd la Ire

ai Sp

A us tr



Note: For European countries, only students from outside Switzerland, the EU and the rest of the EEA were included. Source: OECD 2011: 67. authors’ illustration


Can you digs it? Emerging trends in student housing Helen Dorritt takes a look at the wide range of accommodation options that are helping international and local studente complete their student experience in the UK. Gone are the days when university accommodation was something that students had no or little control over, turning up on the first day of term to find themselves living in a tiny room with access to a dubious kitchen shared with nine others and perhaps a friendly mouse. With higher education now constituting a much greater expense – and consequently a much more considered decision by students – the desire for comfortable and fit-for-purpose accommodation is also becoming more important. Statistics from this year’s National Student Housing Survey (NSHS) carried out by Redbrick Research shows that students are happier with their accommodation than in the past, with 31% of students reporting that they are ‘very satisfied’. So what is increasing student satisfaction? And how does the place where they sleep at night affect their overall university experience? A home away from home Living on campus can have huge advantages for students, from both academic and social perspectives, giving them a taste of independence and allowing them to make friends more easily. If this accommodation is of a high standard, it stands to reason that their experience is even more positive. “Being happy and comfortable at home is a great generator of productivity. This is heightened for students who are establishing their independence,” says Robert Moyle, Operations Director (UK) for Campus Living Villages (CLV). “Students have every right to demand a positive experience within a supportive, safe and fun environment. They expect high quality, well-managed accommodation, with excellent service, great facilities and the latest technology.” New student accommodation is therefore being designed in a much more considered manner than the old halls of residence. Accommodation tailored towards specific courses One such example is Kingston Plaza, a new accommodation block with space for 100 students in Kingston upon Thames, with interiors designed and produced by Links, a company that provides full turnkey solutions for both new student developments and the refurbishment of existing accommodation. Links designed these around the principles of creating a ‘home from home’ secure environment. “We selected calming colour palettes to create a relaxing environment,” explains Links Project Coordinator Penny Williams. “Our designs are heavily focused on the practical aspects of student living, ensuring that we create well designed, comfortable and inspirational home and working environments.” The provision of accommodation tailored towards specific courses is also becoming more prevalent. Since one sixth of the students at CLV’s Birmingham accommodation are studying music at the Birmingham Conservatoire, the company recently invested £450,000 in the creation of two group rehearsal rooms and ten individual practice studios. These are on the


ground floor of the accommodation block and, while a new conservatoire is being built, have provided vital rehearsal space for students. Their accommodation is therefore directly enhancing their ability to study their chosen subject. Technology lets students pick their own room Updates in technology are ensuring that students have more say in their choice of accommodation, and are also helping university staff facilitate a complicated process in a much more coherent and simplified way. One such example of this is Mercury, a new program developed by web-based software provider RMS, which allows universities to customise their accommodation process and conduct it entirely online. The University of Greenwich switched to Mercury this summer for its accommodation allocation, allowing students to select their own room for the first time. This decision was made after seeing the positive results of similar schemes in universities in the USA, from the perspective of both students and staff. After registering for accommodation, the Mercury system allowed students to go online and self-select their accommodation. The system also sent out reminders to students about when the process was open. “During the application process, students wanting to reside with friends were able to create a ‘pin’ to share with each other, which allows one person to book for all the students sharing that pin,” explains Lisa Winter, Accommodation Services Manager for the university. “They were also able to select a room according to preferences for building, room type, floor level, gender balance and within a particular age range.” On the first day there was no longer the need for awkward getting-toknow-you chats over the unpacking of pots and pans, as students were able to make contact with each other via social media or email prior to moving in. CLV Peel Park Quarter, University of Salford

Freeing up resources Winter and her team are very pleased with how this new system has worked, and she believes that there has been a huge gain for students. “We feel that queries have been largely reduced with few if any complaints, particularly from students who were unhappy in the past if staff had not been able to manually allocate them to their preferred hall or who had missed offers due to a lack of clarity on the date they should expect to hear from us. We have had more time to chat to students about any worries they might have about moving into halls, giving them reassurance and guidance, and to help individual students who may have specific requirements.”

“Student needs and expectations can only grow in line with student fees, so it’s important to expand rather than limit choice across the market” From a resources perspective, it has freed up time for staff to concentrate on working on other factors influential to best ensuring a good student experience. “Staff would usually spend days carrying out manual allocations, but can now better utilise this time by responding more promptly to email and telephone enquiries,” explains Winters. “Staff have also been able to quick responses to rquests to amend applications and bookings, giving students peace of mind or other options available to them if specific requests cannot be met.”

Creating a community It’s not just the room they live in that’s important to students, but the community that they’ll be a part of for the next 12 months, as the chance to meet and socialise with others is a huge part of the university experience. This is so vital, in fact, that this year the NSHS launched a new award for Best Student Community, with Swansea University coming out on top. “After a few challenging years in student community, we recognise the hard work undertaken by accommodation providers with this new award,” says Tim Daplyn, Managing Director of Redbrick Research. “Across the field of student community we are seeing really positive change.” Research by Links showed that a sense of community and belonging is a key factor for students when determining their choice of accommodation, something that’s backed up by findings from the NSHS survey. This year it showed that a dip in the sense of student community in 2013 and 2014 has been reversed, and the number of students reporting a strong sense of community in their accommodation has increased from 42% in 2014 to 56% in 2015. “Students want accommodation providers to continue improving the community element,” says Daplyn. “We have seen a huge rise in the proportion of students reporting a strong sense of student community. It is still perhaps lower than we would like but it reveals that when action is taken change can be delivered quickly.” Redbrick posits that this improved sense of student community could be the result of more or better spaces for students to socialise away from bedrooms and corridors, as there was also an increase in satisfaction levels with the availability and quality of communal and social areas, plus higher levels of satisfaction in regard to opportunities to socialise. Rent-free accommodation around the globe In a similar manner, Salford Village Limited’s Peel Park Quarter for students at the University of Salford, which was built by a consortium including CLV, is also providing much more than just a bedroom: there are also cinemas, sports facilities, communal lounges with TVs and games consoles and professional meeting spaces for group study. Enhancing the sense of community, students can access CLV’s ‘Residential Life’ programme, which offers academic and pastoral support such as financial advice, scholarships, hot chocolate study breaks and cooking classes. “A CLV student can have two weeks of rent-free accommodation in any one of our 60 villages around the globe, to encourage them to travel and sample life on other campuses,” explains Moyle. “Meeting colleagues, visiting new cities and sharing information benefits their personal development and allows them to experience a diverse range of cultures and groups.” These increasingly student-focused additions to university accommodation are only going to become more commonplace as tuition costs increase and students expect more bang for their buck – as Moyle summarises: “Student needs and expectations can only grow in line with student fees, so it’s important to expand rather than limit choice across the market. For the price of a degree they want to have a memorable experience and they want to enjoy their time. They are no longer prepared to live in jail-block style, musty old halls of residence.” This article is also published in University Business Magazine www.universitybusiness.co.uk

31 CLV - Prince Consort Village

the next UNIVERSITY seven WAYS for universities TO STAY RELEVANT IN A CHANGING WORLD As higher education responds to the fastchanging global economy and the ascent of alternative credentials and new modes of delivery, Jackie Kassteen examines how universities and colleges can remain competitive. We’ve all read the dire proclamations about the challenges facing traditional higher education, questioning the sustainability of at least some institutions today. But while higher education institutions are indeed facing pressures regarding established operating and business models, some are overcoming them using new approaches to programme design, target markets and funding, as well as branding and marketing campaigns that emphasise their strengths more effectively than ever. Evolution 2.0 Eric Beerkens, writing in University World News, states: “The DNA of the traditional university has not changed in the past 25 years and I can safely predict that it will not change in the coming 25 years.” He suggests that the traditional university model has never been static and has been evolving for years in response to internal and external demands. Indeed, around the world there is evidence that universities and colleges are responding to today’s challenges in unique and innovative ways. Here are just a few examples: 1. Developing a niche One strategy is for universities to abandon those things at which they are merely average, focus on their strengths and roll out targeted advertising campaigns to niche markets. An example of a highly focused institution doing exactly this is the College of the Atlantic (COA) in Maine. COA was the first American college to go carbon-neutral, and among its many environmental features are its eight student residences with composting toilets and greywater recycling to minimise water use.


COA has also responded quickly to the growing demand for international exposure and internships: more than half of COA students include international study in their curriculum, and 100% complete an internship as part of their degree. 2. Encouraging entrepreneurship Economies everywhere are bursting out of traditional hierarchies in which ‘big’ automatically equalled ‘great’. Start-ups have proliferated, and today many college students aspire to be their own bosses. As a result, there is a growing trend toward fostering entrepreneurship in higher education. George Washington University, for example, has an Office of Entrepreneurship devoted to programming around innovation, education, venture creation and making connections, including workshops on crafting an



elevator pitch and talks such as ‘Student Start-Ups: From Dorm Room to Board Room’. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan gives students sole ownership of their inventions, even if the project stems from work created for a course or using university equipment. The university also operates a hugely popular Entrepreneurship Clinic. 3. Investing in internationalisation A big part of the Russian government’s strategy to move five of its universities into the Top 100 world university rankings is providing new academic mobility grants to bring elite foreign researchers into Russian classrooms.


Russia is far from the only country pushing inter-institutional mobility; collaborative cross-border research projects and faculty exchanges abound in higher education today. Where universities don’t have the researchers and faculty they need locally, they find them in other countries and promote ‘star’ lecturers to draw students to their courses.


4. Collaborating across countries What’s better than a top-ranked research university? Two topranked research universities – one Chinese, one American – collaborating on one incredible venture. The University of Washington and China’s Tsinghua University announced earlier this year a joint project called the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a brand-new facility focusing on science and technology studies in Seattle, USA. The Microsoft-backed GIX will be the first time a Chinese research university offers a degree programme in the USA.

5 6

5. Thinking differently about money In the USA especially – in part because of reduced public funding – colleges and universities are seeking non-traditional methods to raise revenue. These include developing new, niche student markets, offering classes on weekends or during summer months to appeal to part-time and non-traditional demographics and of course recruiting international students. In markets across the globe, private funding and participation is quietly growing, even in areas traditionally considered completely public. 6. Experimenting with technology Gone are the predictions that MOOCs will simply displace all other education delivery models. Online-only programmes certainly exist, but increasingly institutions are bringing in technologies to leverage or strengthen core competencies – and to push down costs. Blended or hybrid degrees abound: universities are offering MOOCs and courses delivered on campus. Professors are incorporating real-time analytics information to better personalise students’ learning, and institutions are discovering what works online and what is best kept in the physical classroom.

7. Using beauty-based branding Not all students are lured by the novelty of MOOCs and other online programmes. For many international students, the physical experience of studying in another country remains their top priority, and this incorporates accommodation, learning facilities and the wider environment and recreational opportunities available to them. Top-ranked universities are making their campuses more state-of-the art and destination marketing is a noteworthy trend, especially in countries and regions known for extreme natural beauty.


New Zealand’s ‘Think New’ campaign is one example of bestpractice destination marketing, while universities in Málaga, Spain, are leveraging their beautiful historic city. Destination marketing can offer a powerful competitive advantage for universities and regions traditionally falling outside the notice of international students. Onward There is no turning back from the disruptions affecting higher education today; they have occurred and they will continue to unfold in the years ahead. Some institutions will sink but many will swim – farther and faster than ever before. The most resilient will be adaptable shape-shifters and strategists conditioned to the new constant: change. Jacqueline Kassteen Director, ICEF Monitor www.icefmonitor.com

"What’s better than a top-ranked research university? Two top-ranked research universities"

Challenges and Disruptions

Adaptation is survival in higher education today. Many experts predict that few colleges or universities can face the following trends without a fundamental rethinking of the way they operate. PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS ARE PROLIFERATING AROUND THE WORLD: Private schools are competing on all sorts of measures, including price, specialisation, and, in developing countries, quality alternatives to overburdened MARKETS ARE UNSTABLE: public systems. Add to this The delineation between a perceived disconnect between higher education “source” and “destination” countries continues to blur and the job market, plus the heightened price sensitivity to the extent that traditional large source countries such as among some student China cannot be relied upon segments, and it is clear that as a continued base of highly universities and colleges are being challenged to adapt. valued international student tuition.

DEMOGRAPHICS ARE CHANGING: The population of college-age students is shrinking in a number of countries, including Canada, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

FLEXIBLE, LOW-COST ONLINE OPTIONS ABOUND: MOOCs and other digitalbased delivery models – as well as diploma/certificate programmes and alternative credentials – are throwing the cost and time required for four-year university degrees into high relief.

"Image of student accommodation on the Think New Zealand website” Source: www.studyinnewzealand.com/live/accommodation




Intelligent investors take the student housing course in Europe Major institutional real estate investors have recently cast a collective vote of confidence in the burgeoning student accommodation sector in Europe through a string of portfolio acquisitions and development deals. The combination of institutional equity teaming up with local development specialists is a key driver behind the rapid transformation of once-neglected student housing in continental Europe into a vibrant and professional sector. Spurred by frustration with lower-yielding investments in more traditional asset classes such as bonds, institutional investors are increasingly targeting the sector as its potential becomes more evident. A prime example of a US entrant is Heitman, the investment manager of €30 bn of real estate assets globally. Heitman’s co-head of Europe, Rob Reiskin said recently the investor is targeting the acquisition of small student housing portfolios in Germany or the Netherlands but it may also take over an existing operating platform. Another US investor that has the European student housing market firmly on its radar is Greystar. In October, the residential specialist purchased Campus Diemen Zuid in the Amsterdam region. Built in the style of an American university campus, Campus Diemen Zuid comprises 939 apartments and around 4,650 m2 of commercial space. ‘With our American roots, and having grown a significant UK platform in recent years, Greystar is now focusing on growing further in Continental Europe, particularly urban areas,’ Greystar’s Steven Zeeman said. ‘Campus Diemen with its amenities, service and location on top of a train and metro station is a good fit.’

"Institutional equity teaming up with local development specialists is a key driver behind the rapid transformation of once-neglected student housing"

In the UK, the last two weeks in February this year were ‘an extraordinary period’ in terms of UK deal activity, according to Philip Hillman, lead director of student housing at broker JLL. ‘There were more deals in this period than over the whole of 2014,’ he said, referring specifically to Canada pension investor CPPIB’s takeover of Liberty Living for £1.1 bn (€1.5 bn) and the sale of the Carlyle Pure Student portfolio in Central London to Russia’s LetterOne for £532 mln (€732 mln). At the time, Hillman predicted there would be at least £3.5–4 bn of transactions in Europe this year. The German market is still in its infancy, but booming construction and investment are conspiring to turn it into the first continental European country to graduate with a fully-fledged student housing sector. 2014 saw a record investment volume of €200 mln, according to property adviser Savills. ‘The sharp rise in private supply is attracting new players to the investment market,’ said Marcus Roberts, head of student investment at Savills. ‘Notably, pension funds and insurers are increasingly acting as buyers for the first time in this market. But we are seeing increased interest from the sector from overseas investors/ operators looking to grow their existing platforms.’ Strong domestic specialists backed by cross-border capital have emerged to feed huge demand for modern student accommodation. For instance, UK-based investors Internos and Somerston Group hold a 27.5% stake in Deutsche Real Estate Funds (DREF). The German operator is currently deploying the €40 mln proceeds from the first student housing bond issued in Germany. Continental European players are also becoming more active. Youniq, the listed German student housing developer-manager, is now 92% owned by Swiss-based Corestate Capital. The plan is to delist Youniq, recapitalise it and accelerate its development programme. Elsewhere in Germany, Hamburg-based MPC –– backed by Sparinvest of Denmark – is rolling out its StayToo student housing brand. Youniq has schemes in nine German cities while MPC recently acquired a plot in Nuremberg for a StayToo complex. Meanwhile Dubai capital is backing developer-owner International Campus which develops and operates the Fizz brand of student homes. The first phase of Fizz Darmstadt and the The Fizz Frankfurt Gallus have just opened. Cormac Mac Ruairi Deals Editor PropertyEU

35 Cormac Macruairi

the international investor The rise of the European student housing investor means that money is flowing across borders, across the Channel and even across oceans. Developers and investors from European markets are conquering each other’s territory, while institutional money from across the globe is pouring into the student housing sector.

Selection of international student housing investors who were active in 2015 Home market





Student Housing Fund





Australian Pension Funds



3 Corestate


Private equity


Youniq, Linked Living





5 Crosslane


6 Greystar


1 Bouwfonds


Prime Student Living



Prodigy Living


Institutional investors



8 International Campus


Alcazar Capital, Kapitalpartner


The Fizz, DUWO

9 LetterOne




10 Scape




Scape Student Living

11 Swisslife


Managed funds



12 ThreeSixty


Oaktree Capital


13 The Student Hotel


Perella Weinberg, Carlyle


The Student Housing Company The Student Hotel

14 ValueOne


Family owned



15 Xior


Private Fund



16 Ziggurat




Ziggurat Student Housing

7 GSA Group


GSA Group




Victus student housing fund

Liberty Living

Pure Student Living

China and Middle East


Prime Student Living

Housig Fund


Student Living



Goldman Sachs


Prodigy Living

International Campus


Alcazar Capital, Kapitalpartner


The Fizz, DUWO

Development Knightsbridge



Family owned


Oaktree Capital



Milestone The Student Housing Company








10 13 8



3 3













developers and investors have joined forces in order to shorten processes, make locations available and thus stimulate the construction of student housing. Started in 2013, the aim is to have 6,000 units under construction in 2017.

COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 437,000 %International: 6%

Top countries of origin China Iran Germany

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €479

National student housing provision rate 19%

The cooperation seems to be a successful model. Planning processes have been reduced from over three years to 18 months, which has led to a pipeline of 12,000 units that are now planned until 2019 in the Stockholm region. The project is held as an example for other Swedish cities. Lund has followed suit and promised to add 4,000 units, while the City of Gothenburg has started the project Gbg4000+.

Karolinska Institute Uppsala University Lund University

Sources: see page 36


The Swedish student housing supply-demand dynamics are among the least balanced in Europe.


Government subsidy doesn’t quite add up In its latest attempt to increase the production of student accommodation, the Swedish government has proposed construction subsidies worth 3.2 SEK Billion (circa € 345 million). The subsidies are however tied to low rent levels and high building standards.

Top institutions

Student population: 291,000 %International: 10%

Top countries of origin Norway Germany Sweden

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €342

National student housing provision rate 23%

University of Copenhagen Aarhus University Technical University of Denmark

Sources: see page 36

2,600 new student housing units in Copenhagen Over the next ten years, 6 000 new student dormitories will be built in Copenhagen., and the City Council has determined the locations for the first 2,600 dormitories. The mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen announced:

Branch organisation Studentenbostadsforetagen tested the proposal in several locations, and came to the conclusion that using the subsidy - and therefore incorporating the maximum rent level - did not lead to a viable business model. Not using the subsidies makes a better business case.

“The many students are an asset for Copenhagen, and we must secure that they have a good and affordable place to live. We have made a massive investment in subsidized student dormitories, lowered the technical requirements for student housing, and this year we have lowered the building permit fees by fifty per cent to stimulate the amount of new housing constructions.”

“In Stockholm we see that the subsidies in its proposed design will not facilitate the construction of new student housing. Our cost estimates show the contrary: using the subsidies will result in a loss since it does not cover the rent loss generated by the required rent levels” says Ingrid Gyllfors, CEO at Stockholms Studentenbostäder.

The large increase in newly built units means that the number of units in proportion to the amount of young people will increase over the coming ten years, despite the rise of youth population by 20% under the last 30 years.

Student housing production picks up When the last period of subsidies stopped, the number of newly built student housing units dropped dramatically. Recently, production has picked up again, and is predicted to increase further. Looking back, the removal of the subsidy did have a direct impact on the downturn. But the amount of finished student accommodation does not represent the plans or willingness for new student housing, and since building student housing takes years we are now beginning to see the first results.

Aarhus students housed in caravans An increasing number of students have flocked to Aarhus to begin their studies this year, but a lot of them still have not been able to find a place to live. In order to accommodate these homeless students, the student house Studenterhus Aarhus is renting out 22 residential caravans for 130 kroner (€17) a night. Each caravan measures 18m2 and houses four tenants in two dorms. The students share a bathroom and a small kitchen. In August 50 students moved into the newly opened "Camp Student Housing."

STHLM6000+ tackles Stockholm bureaucracy An unlikely partnership of 41 organisations is working hard to add 6,000 student housing units to Stockholm’s urban landscape. Local governments, universities, construction companies, Student housing production in Sweden: Completed rooms (left) and start construction (right) 4500

Country profiles: sources


1. Number of students enrolled: UNESCO, 2013


2. International student percentages: UNESCO, 2014


3. Typical domestic course fee: www.studyineurope.eu


4. Top countries of origin: UNESCO, 2014


5. Average rent: Eurostat, Eurostudent research; Savills


6. Top institutions: Times Higher Education World Rankings


7. Student housing provision rate: Savills; NSBO

500 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


source: Boverket, and SCB


2015 expected

2016 expected

Atlantinkatu Student Housing in Helsinki. Image: Playa Architects

Finland COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 309,000 %International: 7%

Top countries of origin Russia, China Vietnam

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €329

National student housing provision rate 11%

University of Helsinki Aalto University University of Turku

Sources: see page 38

Finnish student housing foundations are supported by the government. But change is in the air for both education and accommodation. Building regulation reform part of housing strategy The Finnish government has launched a strategic programme for increasing housing construction. It aims to strengthen economic growth and employment, renew the housing stock, respond to demand for housing, promote competition in the construction industry, increase choice in housing and respond to changes in the structure of housing needs. As part of the programme the government will terminate the 10% investment aid for construction and renovation of apartments for students. SOA – the Finnish associations of student housing organisations has registered its concern and is working to prevent this decline. The programme also aims to streamline the process of town planning and improve the connection between infrastructure and housing planning. Also, the requirement for full accessibility to each apartment will be diminished and a quota will be set for accessible apartments in every building. The regulations related to air-raid shelters and parking areas will be critically considered in order to lower the construction costs. Education budget squeeze Finland’s economy has not seen growth for over three years now, initially following the general economic mood in Europe and now also affected by reduced trade with Russia. The government is planning to take austerity measures that will affect higher education. About €500 million in higher education budget cuts are on the table. The governmental programme mentions possible tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students, but at this stage only states some very general terms, suggesting 2016 or 2017 as a preliminary introduction timetable. The governmental programme does not in any way specify the extent of the suggested fees, but does briefly mention that if fees were introduced, a new scholarship system should also be created. Hoas builds new student housing in Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari area Skanska and Hoas have signed a contract for the construction of an eight-story-building for students, with construction earmarked for completion by the end of 2016. The Atlantinkatu project will house a total of 103 student apartments from studios to shared and family apartments.


Norway COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 255,000 %International: 4%

Top countries of origin Sweden China Russia

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €564

National student housing provision rate 15%

University of Oslo University of Bergen Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Sources: see page 36

Governments awards grants for record number of student homes In 2015 the Norwegian government awarded a record number of grants to student housing foundations across the country. This will facilitate 23 projects in 15 cities, with the largest number of rooms to be built in Oslo (348), followed by Trondheim (220), Stavanger (200) and Tromsø (200). For each built unit the student housing company receives 300,000 NOK (€32,600) as long as the total building cost for one unit is 800,000 NOK (€87.000) or lower. The rest of the money can be borrowed from the State Housing Bank. The subsidies are only available for Studentsamskipnads and are not applicable to the private market. Source: NSBO

Iceland COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 19,000 %International: 5%

Top countries of origin Germany Denmark Poland

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: N/A

National student housing provision rate 14%

University of Iceland

Sources: see page 36

New student accommodation in Reykjavík The city of Reykjavík has a big building project on the agenda. The goal is to build an area with mixed private, ownership on both the general and social rental markets. Icelandic Student Services have been asked to cooperate and have shown interest on account of the central location, next to the harbour and close to campus, wichi represents a popular location for students. The Icelandic Student Services, The University of Iceland and the city of Reykjavík recently signed a letter of intent, which states that 750 new student units will be built in the next three to five years. The majority of the units -at least 400 - will be located on campus; the remainder will be within walking or biking distance.


Hein Huiting, Tilburg, The Netherlands Image by Ståle Eriksen, Berg student housing Trondheim


Ireland COUNTRY STATS Student population: 199,000 %International: 6%

Top countries of origin UK China USA

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

Trinity College Dublin University College Dublin National University of Ireland, Galway

Average montly rent in Typical domestic course fee: student accommodation: 0 (€ 2.500 Student Service €375 Charge)

National student housing provision rate 16%

Sources: see page 36

Dublin has quickly become a hotspot for student housing developers. With 80,000 students and 10,000 student beds, the city needs it. Will other cities follow? Unprecedented demand for student accommodation The Irish Higher Education Authority says there is an unprecedented demand for student accommodation, in a report published in September 2015. There is a shortfall of 25,000 student beds across the country, with the problem most acute in Dublin, Cork and Galway. According to the HEA, last year saw 57,000 students seeking accommodation, but current supply suitable for students is close to half that, at 31,300 beds. The HEA report recommends that consideration be given to the provision of grants or tax incentives to third-level colleges to enable them to build on-campus accommodation for students. The report also cites UK research, which found that first-year students who live at home are far more likely than students in rented accommodation to drop out of college. According to that research, 10% of first years that live at home drop out, compared to just 4% of those who have moved out. GSA on track for Dublin market Global Student Accommodation (GSA) has confirmed its plans to invest as much as a quarter of a billion euros in Ireland after it sold its stake in the Urbanest brand in the UK. GSA and the Creedon Group have received planning permission for a €41 million development on a 2.56 acre site at Mill Street, Dublin 8, for a mixed use scheme, including a 400-bed student residence together with retail, restaurant and office space for occupation by local businesses.

Ziggurat eyes € 130 million deal for student homes Student accommodation provider Ziggurat intends to spend up to €130 million on three new student accommodation blocks in Dublin city centre. It aims to open the three developments in 2017. Zigurrat is in the process of buying three sites, “all within ten to 15 minutes’ walk of UCD or Trinity College,” Managing Director Jim Pike explains. The units will be new buildings rather than refurbishments. Ziggurat’s first development was the refurbishment of the Montrose Hotel opposite University College Dublin, turning it into student accommodation at a cost of €22.5 million. The 192room Montrose Student Residence is fully booked for the 2016 academic year, but is still taking booking for the summer period, mainly targeting international students. Three Sixty Development plans second Dublin property Three Sixty Development (formerly Knightsbridge) has acquired a second location in Dublin on which it is planning to develop a 447bed student residence to be operated under The Student Housing Company brand. The site is close to many of the city’s universities and colleges. Three Sixty Development is already developing a student facility with 471 beds as part of The Digital Hub on Thomas Street. The €40 million project is due to be completed in time for the 2016/’17 academic year. NUI Galway plans 1,000 beds as part of 2020 vision President Jim Browne has unveiled the university’s five-year strategic plan, “Vision 2020”, and said he hopes to make Galway one of the top 2% in the world. Part of the plan will see the student accommodation crisis tackled, with sites already identified on campus to provide up to 1,000 new beds. Dr Browne said that in terms of funding, NUIG will have to borrow to complete the development and repay the loan through rental income. “We have a plan for 1,000 bedrooms. The initial plan is for 450 and we have a site picked out for that, which will depend on planning permission. We have identified a set of sites on the campus,” he says.

Existing Student Accommodation 2014 Location Dublin Cork Source: HEA

Public 6,501 813

Private 3,786 2,975

Total 10,287 3,788

Galway Limerick Waterford Other locations Overall Total

764 2,590 446 0 11,114

2,466 4,226 1,919 4,810 20,182

3,230 6,816 2,365 4,810 31,296

Source: HEA


UNITED KINGDOM Top institutions

Top countries of origin China India Nigeria

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: € 12,500

Average montly rent in student accommodation: € 650

National student housing provision rate 21%

University of Oxford University of Cambridge Imperial College London

Sources: see page 36

2015 has been a pivotal year for the student housing industry in the UK. Institutional investment in the sector on an unprecedented scale has put the student housing market on the map as an asset class in its own right. Record levels of investment in UK purpose-built student housing The UK property investment market is seeing record levels of money going into the student housing market, with over £4.2 billion being invested in the first six months of 2015 alone. This level of investment in purpose-built student accommodation is 70% ahead of last year’s total and 40% above the previous peak in 2012.

Top five deals in the UK Brandeaux Portfolio

The Brandeaux Student Accommodation Fund disposed of 16,748 beds together with the Liberty Living management platform to CPPIB. The consideration paid for the platform was circa £1.15bn.


Nido Portfolio

Greystar, advised by JLL, acquired the Nido London Portfolio from Round Hill Capital, in April 2015 for a total consideration of £600m. The portfolio comprised 2,521 bed spaces across three prime London buildings.


Pure Portfolio

JLL advised Carlyle Group and Generation Estates on the sale of their Pure Student Living Portfolio of 2,170 rooms across five prime central London sites to LetterOne achieving circa £530m.


UK to increase education exports from £18 billion to £30 billion in 2020 Mr Johnson delivered his first speech in his new role at the British Council’s “Going Global” conference for international education leaders in London on 1 June, stating that the UK is “committed to increasing education exports from £18 billion in 2012 to £30 billion by 2020”. Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, welcomed Mr Johnson’s speech. “Other countries, such as Germany, have recently adopted ambitious targets for educational exports and we must do so too if we are to retain our market share, let alone increase it,” he said. University of Edinburgh takes communal kitchens to the next level In September 2015, the University of Edinburgh opened its latest student accommodation, Holyrood residence hall. Instead of shared kitchens in each cluster, the kitchens of the entire 500-bed property have been brought together in six communal kitchens on the ground floor. This new style of accommodation is built for postgraduate students, who will benefit from the increased opportunities to meet and socialise with fellow students. £4.5

Westbourne Portfolio

JLL disposed of the 5,866 bed portfolio located across 12 assets across London and regional locations on behalf of Knightsbridge/ Oaktree. Greystar acquired the portfolio for circa £540m.


Yet more than a third of students surveyed said the complexity of the immigration system had impacted negatively on their experiences as students in London. The vast majority also said they found it difficult to secure work in the UK after completing their studies. The status of international students is one of the issues facing new universities minister Jo Johnson, but one he has considered before. Three years ago he co-authored a piece in the Financial Times which suggested foreign students should be taken out of net migration targets.

Student Castle

Student Castle disposed of their national portfolio, a total of 2,153 bed spaces across 5 assets in prime university cities, to CPPIB for c.£330million. Source: JLL

Investment activity


£3.5 £3.0


£2.5 30 £2.0 £1.5


£1.0 10 £0.5 0

£0.0 2010 Source: Savills





Total value of deals Value in the first quarter



£4.0 Value of traded stock/land (bilions)


International students in London contribute £2.3 billion to UK economy Research by PWC quantified the costs and benefits of non-EU international students studying in the British capital. The report says international students contribute £2.8 billion in fees and consumer spending, supporting nearly 70,000 jobs in London, while the cost of providing them with public services is £540 million.

Total number of beds

2015 Q1+Q2

Number of beds (thousands)

COUNTRY STATS Student population: 2,386,000 %International: 17%

Photo credits: Damon Jones Garden View, London by UPP


The Netherlands COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 794,000 %International: 9%

Top countries of origin Germany China Belgium

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €1,906

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €340

National student housing provision rate 17%

Wageningen University University of Amsterdam Utrecht University

Campus Diemen Zuid consists of five buildings comprising 939 apartments over 27,000m2 and around 4,650m2 of commercial space. The site previously housed 50,000m2 of vacant offices built in 1978. Regulation changes in 2015

Sources: see page 36

Points system adapted to also reflect property value for independent

The Dutch student housing market continues to show signs of strong growth and is attracting interest from investors across the board. In the Netherlands, 2015 saw strong growth in international student numbers, the first true international acquisition and continued development activity. With Greystar and APG joining Syntrus Achmea and Bouwfonds in the student-housing sector, it is stepping out of the niche market and becoming more mainstream. A shortage remains – but how big? Despite significant development, most student cities still need more student accommodation. Both in quantity and in quality, there is a mismatch between supply and demand. Savills’ “Spotlight on Student Housing in the Netherlands” estimated there is demand for 50,000 units on top of the existing quantity, while CBRE’s student housing report calculates there are currently 6,600 rooms in development in Amsterdam. Changes in the student loan system that went into effect at the start of the academic year mean that students no longer receive a base grant from the government, and are expected to take out a loan instead. Kences, the branch organisation of social student housing associations, calculated that this might result in up to 13,000 fewer students leaving their parental home. At the same time, a scenario developed by the Ministry of Education came to the conclusion that 22,000 more students will live on their own in the next eight years. Strong growth in international student numbers A big driver in current and future student housing demand is the growth of international students. Between the academic year 2010/’11 and 2014/’15, the number grew by 35% to over 62,000 (9% of all students), with growth especially strong at research universities. Registrations for the 2015 fall semester were up by dramatic numbers at some universities, with those in Maastricht, Delft and Tilburg reporting year-on-year growth percentages of over 40%, according to Dutch media. Greystar enters Dutch market with acquisition of Campus Diemen-Zuid American residential investment manager and operator Greystar has acquired a student-housing complex in Diemen, near Amsterdam, for an undisclosed sum. The development was purchased from a consortium comprising Snippe Projecten, Van Wijnen and Ramphastos Investments, the investment vehicle of Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn.


units, creating regional variation in rent caps Minimum room size down from 18m2 to 15m2 Requirement of outdoor space and shared bike parking scrapped Student grant system replaced by additional student loans

Syntrus Achmea and International Campus partner with DUWO In April the first phase of (Y)ours Leiden opened its doors. The 583 student residences and 117 residential apartments were fully let on the opening day. Syntrus Achmea partnered with leading Dutch student housing operator DUWO, who own 126 of the student units and will manage the operations of all student residences. Construction on the rest of the project continues, working towards a total of 1,900 student rooms at completion. International Campus partnered with DUWO in 2014, announcing €250 million investment in projects in Amsterdam, with the first two now under construction.

Groningen Enschede The Hague Delft



The Student Hotel attracts APG investment, continues expansion Amsterdam-based The Student Hotel announced that APG, the asset manager for the Dutch pension fund APG with an invested capital of €356 billion, has made a €100 million equity investment Future stock in the hybrid student housing and hotel brand. Current stock

Earlier in the year, The Student Hotel announced its merger with Social housing Barcelona-based Melon District, with which it now operates two Social housing corporations corporations residences in Barcelona and one in Paris. the Netherlands, Private In investors TSH opened its second location in Amsterdam, and has projects Commercial underway in Eindhoven, Maastricht and Groningen. investors


The property is being redeveloped into new units for young 0% 10% 30%totally 40% refurbished 50% 60% 70% 80%standard 90% 100%of a professionals and 20% will be to the Graph source: Data Kamernet 2014, edited by Savills new building. In total, 616 new apartments will be built, 567 lofts and 49 penthouses. Each apartment will consist of around 47m2 and will have a horizontally sliding window of more than 14m2 with a great view of the city. A new public city park, “Emmapark”, Buitenlandse studenten in het bekostigde will beNederlandse laid out on the extensive plot around the building. On hoger onderwijs, 2009–2015 the ground floor will be space for eight retail units, including a Aantal buitenlandse studenten supermarket and a coffee bar. Als % van totale inschrijving in Nederland

Private investors

International students in higher education

Commercial investors

Verweij Mungra Real Estate announces Nautique Living At the Provada real estate Verweij Mungra Estimated ownership sharesfair, student housing stock in The Vastgoed, Netherlands which owns the student housing brand Student Experience, announced its third Amsterdam student housing location, Nautique, at the NDSM wharf in the north of the city. The project is a cooperation with Borghese Real Estate and COD, and will entail 400 student homes, 450 residential apartments and a hotel, which will all share a courtyard and a parking garage. In 2015, Student Experienca opened two other locations, Ravel Residence (800 units), and AmstelHome (540 units). Both locations were fully let on the opening date. Bouwfonds acquires project in Eindhoven Bouwfonds Investment Management has acquired the former Philips Lighting main office of approximately 33,000m2 in Eindhoven. The property is located adjacent to the central station and city centre. The total investment is approximately €82 million. It is the second time that all three European residential funds of Bouwfonds IM have invested together in one location. Bouwfonds IM acquired the Mathilde wing of the building for its European Student Housing Fund.

Number of international students

As % of total student population

60.416 57.627



51.416 46.971












20.000 3% 10.000

0 2009-10







Source: CFI, 2015 Bron: DUO DUO - CFI,- 2015

Supply rooms by asking rent Over 70% of all Supply rooms asking of all Amsterdam rooms areby priced at rent over Over €450 70% per month Amsterdam rooms are priced at over €450 per month < €250

€250 - €350

€350 - €450

> €450

Utrecht Tilburg Rotterdam Maastricht


Leiden Groningen Enschede The Hague Delft Amsterdam 0%









90% 100%

Graph source: Data Kamernet 2014, edited by Savills

Future stock Current stock

Average housing costs (including utilities and fees, excluding deduction of rent allowances); average income; and average % of income spent on Gemiddelde woonlasten (inclusief bijkomende woonlasten en zonder aftrek van de huurtoeslag), housing. Full timestudenten students living on their own, 2014-2015. Buitenlandse in het bekostigde

inkomen en woonquote van uitwonende voltijdstudenten naar type woonruimte, collegejaar ’14 - ‘15

Nederlandse hoger onderwijs, 2009–2015 45%

Room with shared facilities Social housing corporations Private investors

Commercial investors


Aantal buitenlandse studenten

Social housing corporations



€790 €520


Als % van totale inschrijving in Nederland

Private investors


Apartment Commercial investors


Total €0

60.000 Estimated ownership shares student housing stock in The Netherlands

€20055.458 €400

Average rent


57.627 €600

Average income

51.416 Source: ABF Research, 2015

The Student Hotel Amsterdam City




60.416€860 €800



Average % spent on housing


46.971 8,8%


“ I want to do a specialization in neuro surgery.I would like to use my medical studies to save lifes in a practical way.I also like to study the brain because i think it is fascinating. I think I will do my job everywhere. It will be necessary. ”


David Castaño Estévez, Tilburg, The Netherlands Caroline Spanevello, Napoli, Italy Image by: www.imagesconnect.com

Belgium COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 488.000 %International: 10%

Top countries of origin France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: € 610 - € 835

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €270

National student housing provision rate 11%

KU Leuven Ghent University Université Catholique de Louvain

Sources: see page 36

Flemish and French-speaking Belgian communities each operate their own higher education systems, while the three federal regions (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels) and local governments administer planning and building regulations. This fragmented situation makes for a complex student housing market, where most students rent a room in the private market.

Gate 15 Antwerp Image: BOB361 architects

Quares buys Liège property from City Living In January 2015, Quares Student Housing acquired the 146room Home Ruhl property in Liège, valued at €7.2 million. The acquisition is helping the company to achieve its goal of 500 rooms. The company now has four properties in its portfolio, three in Brussels and one in Liège. “Our market research shows that there is still a shortage in quality student housing. Inquiries at universities showed a shortage of around 27,000 rooms due to the growth in student numbers and the inflow of international students,” said Bart De Smedt, Head of Innovation at Quares. Upkot expands portfolio Belgian student accommodation developer Upgrade Estate opened new locations in Antwerp and Kortrijk in 2015, and has developments underway in several Belgian cities. One of the projects is the redevelopment of an office building in Brussels, which will be the largest Upkot location yet, with 216 rooms. Xior considers listing on Brussels stock exchange Student housing investor Xior, with properties in Belgian and Dutch student cities, is considering listing its fund on the Brussels stock exchange to facilitate growth. “It is one of the options under consideration,” Frederick Snauwaert, Financial Director of the Antwerp-based company told Belgian magazine Knack in April.



this market. But we are seeing increased interest from the sector from overseas investors/operators looking to grow their existing platforms.”

COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 2,780,000 %International: 10%

Top countries of origin China Russia Austria

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €237

National student housing provision rate 11%

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Heidelberg University Humboldt Universty of Berlin

Sources: see page 36

International students flock to German universities in growing numbers. High rankings and low costs make for excellent value. But where will they live? Finding a place to live is the number one problem for international students The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) recently published research stating that finding proper accommodation is the biggest problem faced by foreign students in Germany. Some 66,000 international students live in dormitories that are owned by the regional Studentenwerke, which means they occupy over a third of the available Studentenwerke beds. According to the report, international students on average have €115 less to spend. Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) responded by urging the government to financially support the construction of new student residences: “Only with state funding can the Studentenwerke construct new residences and supply affordable accommodation to international students,” said Achim Meyer auf der Heyde, Secretary General of DSW. Germany breaks 300,000 international student mark In 2014, Germany hosted 301,350 students from abroad, nearly 20,000 more than in 2013. It looks like the country is well on track to reaching its goal of hosting 350,000 students by 2020, a target set by the federal government last year. German universities offer especially good value, with 20 universities in the THE top 200 and no tuition fees. According to Deutsche Welle, the average student needs at total of around $28,500 to earn a bachelor’s degree in Germany. For American students accustomed to spending up to $40,000 a year on education, the low costs are extremely attractive. German student housing market sees record levels of investment The German student housing market achieved an outstanding transaction volume of over €200 million in 2014, according to international real estate advisor Savills. This was by far the highest volume of investment to date for this type of accommodation. Over the last five years, the student housing market in Germany has experienced a construction boom of privately financed and operated student apartments, which has in turn created increasing levels of investable stock. “The sharp rise in private supply is attracting new players to the investment market,” says Marcus Roberts, Head of Student Investment at Savills. “Notably, pension funds and insurance companies are increasingly acting as buyers for the first time in


MPC Capital steps up student housing investments MPC Capital will develop and operate student housing projects under the brand STAYTOO and has substantially expanded its investment to a total of €150 million within the sector. The first three projects under the STAYTOO brand are located in Nuremberg, Bonn and Kaiserslautern. By fall 2016 the first highquality, modern and affordable apartments will be finished. The STAYTOO concept combines the aspects of studying, working and living in a single place. CIEE opens Global Institute accommodation in Berlin Global education and exchange programme provider CIEE has developed and opened its own accommodation in Berlin. The 260-room G.27 Global Institute is spread across two buildings, which together make up 7,339m2. Each floor has 40 rooms, plus a communal kitchen and lounge space. Inside, property developer Macro Sea sourced both vintage and contemporary furniture, with a focus on Danish and up-and-coming Berlin designers: “Macro Sea sought to create an environment that treats students as savvy global citizens rather than wards of an institution,” the company said in a statement. Strong growth in private student housing Since 2010, the stock of private student residences in the 30 largest German university towns has doubled to about 25,000 residential places. Considering the projects currently under construction and in planning, a further doubling to approximately 50,000 places by 2020 seems likely, according to research published by Savills. A bigger supply also means more sophisticated market segmentation, says Matthias Pink of Savills: “The market for student housing has seen a construction boom over the last years. While the investors almost exclusively focused on the high-price segment in the past, some of them are starting to target lower price segments.” DREF expands in German market In June, Deutsche Real Estate Funds (DREF) issued the first bond to finance student housing in Germany. Now it has acquired a further student residence in Kiel with a market value of €20 million. A development property consisting of 208 units, it was purchased from a Hamburg property developer and will supplement DREF’s existing student-housing portfolio. DREF, whose shareholders include Internos Global Investors and Somerston Group, has already purchased five existing properties with the issue proceeds of the bond placed in June. The €44 million bond has a coupon of 4.675% per annum and an investment grade rating. These acquired properties are currently being refurbished, with a large percentage of the students expected to move in during the winter semester 2015/’16.

CIEE Global Institute Berlin Photos by Macro Sea

Project by Staytoo Nuremberg



Student population: 422,000 %International: 17%

Top countries of origin Germany Italy Turkey

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €261

National student housing provision rate 16%

University of Vienna Medical University of Vienna Vienna University of Technology

Sources: see page 36

Environmentally friendly and mixed-use buildings are helping shape the future of student accommodation in Austria. OeAD fully committed to eco-friendly accommodation The OeAD Housing Office has declared its intention to adopt passive house standards for building halls of residence. Six of these projects have already been realised, and will house 3,000 students per year from all over the globe in a passive house during their time at university. These efforts for an active ecologic contribution to climate protection were rewarded in November 2013 when the OeAD Housing Office was awarded the Climate Protection Prize 2013 at the ORF climate protection awards in the category Climate Protection in Companies. With more than 30,000 votes from the audience, the OeAD Housing Office was chosen from 230 submissions and awarded the prestigious prize at the award ceremony in the Siemens City. In addition to accommodating more than 12,000 students per year, the OeAD Housing Office has also gained a reputation for the summer universities it organises. For example the summer university Green.Building.Solutions for which the OeAD Housing Office was awarded the Green & Blue Building Award in 2014. It was organised and held in cooperation with six Austrian higher education institutions and representatives of the IG Passivhaus and the Austrian Institute of Technology.

Student housing in Vienna by OeAd

Milestone Graz opens its doors; Vienna 2 underway In September 2015, Milestone opened its first location outside Vienna in Graz. The property has 378 studio apartments, a fitness area, a party lounge, a roof terrace and study lounges. Milestone is also working on a second location in Vienna, located at the Wurstelprater. Corestate starts Linked Living brand in Vienna On 30 September Swiss-based investor Corestate opened a new student residence project in Vienna under the brand Linked Living. The property has 598 studio apartments in three segments: student apartments, student+ apartments, and pro apartments, marketed to young professionals. Prices start at €540 for a student apartment and go up to €1,249 for a large pro onebedroom apartment. Corestate has been active on the German student housing market under the Youniq brand.for a Student Apartment and go up to €1.249 for a large Pro one-bedroom apartment. Corestate has been active on the German student housing market under the Youniq brand.


Milestone Graz


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Nantes Nancy Nice Lyon Rennes Toulouse Bordeaux Rouen Strasbourg Lille Paris


Student population: 0% 5% 2,438,000 %International: 10%

Top countries of origin

Typical domestic course fee: € 188 - € 259

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €263

10% China Morocco Algeria


Top institutions

20% (Times World Rankings) École Normale Supérieure, Paris École polytechnique, Paris Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris

Graph source: CROUS, Adele, Savills / *Number of rooms divided by number of students

National student housing provision rate 15%

Sources: see 36 Rental level inpage private residences €457 on average

fora studio and €542 for a 1-bedroom apartment / month

In spite of progress, student-housing supply 1-bedroom Studio Paris to meet demand, and there are vast still fails IDF (excluding Paris) Aix en Provence discrepancies in provision between cities. Nice Annecy Lyon MoreLille foreign student than ever are studying Average Strasbourg inMontpellier France, and there are plans to double the Marseille number Bordeaux by 2025.

Grenoble Toulouse Toulonhousing provision Student Rennes Rouen TotalNantes student housing provision is currently an estimated total Reims rooms, of which approximately 58% are public student of 375,000 Le Havre

accommodations managed by the CROUS. This results in a €0 €200 €400 €600 €800 €1000 €1200 €1400 significant supply shortfall compared to the 1.6 million students who wish to live independently. In France, the average student housing provision rate is currently 15.4% compared to 11.2% in 2012. This average masks large differences between cities, from 2.6% in Paris – which accounts for nearly 13% of the country’s total postgraduates and 19.3% of all foreign students – to 19% in Grenoble, the best equipped city.

Two operators run 41% of the student housing market Group Nexity Groupe reside Etudes




1987 Developer / Manager

Les Estudines 1989

Market share 23%

Developer / Manager


Le Club Edudiant





BNP real estate





Arpej UniverCity








Owner / Manager




FAC habitat Dom’Ville services



Espacil Habitat





Park&Suites Etudes Source: Savills



Manager Manager

6% 5%

Developer / Developer Manager / Manager Manager


The improvement of provision is due to the strong increase of development since 2012 – although the number of planned projects is slowing down. In total, 9,332 student rooms are planned over the next five years, of which, 3,800 are due for completion in 2015. In 2014 the government launched project “40,000”, with the aim of developing 40,000 public student rooms before 2017. Fifty per cent of these will be located in the Paris region (source: Savills). Rental growth from 2% to 3% The average national student housing rent is around €457 per month (including service charges) for a studio and €542 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Over the past 12 months, rents have increased by 3% on average in Ile de France and by 2% in regional markets according to the latest survey from the OVE (Student Life Watchdog Agency). Since the “Loi ALUR” law changed last year, rental growth has been relatively limited. Indeed, the initial law enforced in 2012 aimed at capping rental growth for lease renewals in 28 cities exceeding 50,000 inhabitants. The law has now been extended to new leases for which the asking rent should range between -30% and +20% of the recorded median rent (source: Savills). Hollande announces “National Plan for Student Life” On 1 October, President François Hollande announced a “National Plan for Student Life” (in French, PNVE) including 35 new actions to bring useful, efficient and long-expected solutions to improve students’ everyday lives, to support their success and help them grasp their new independence. Two of the measures are directly focused on foreign students and student accommodation, and will be implemented at the start of academic year 2016: • Development of one-stop welcome desks to simplify processes for foreign students. These will offer a single information point, providing all services necessary for successful integration and settlement. • Simplification of “right of residence” processes for foreign students. It also includes measures for the renovation of student residences and improvements to quality standards. Direct spending by international students in France tops €4.65 billion France welcomed 295,084 foreign students in 2013/’14, an increase of 3.5% over the reported 2010/’11 enrolment of 284,945. The country has established an ambitious goal to double its international student numbers by 2025. In the meantime, a new economic impact study – the first of its kind – by market research firm BVA estimates total spending by foreign students in France was €4.65 billion (US$5.76 billion) in 2013/’14. BVA describes overall spending by international students as follows: • €3.25 billion in daily living expenses; • €563 million in tuition and other school fees; • €466 million in travel expenses for visiting family and friends; • €364 million in airfares to and from France. The study also found that the experience of studying in France greatly improved foreign students’ perception of the country.

Graph source: CROUS, Adele, Savills / *Number of rooms divided by number of students


Overall, nine out of ten respondents would recommend France as a place to live, visit or study. This leads the report’s authors to characterise international students as “excellent ambassadors, who are prepared to promote France in all fields” (source: ICEF). Summer 2015: four new Campuséa residences It has been a busy summer fort he Campuséa team with four new residences opening. A 210 bed proerty in Bordeaux, and three in the Paris region: Bagnolet (183 beds), Palaiseau (155 bed) and Paris XII Montsouris (90 beds). The latter is fully let through a lease contract with NY University. Swiss Life France targets € 150 million for student housing fund Fund manager Swiss Life REIM, formerly known as Viveris REIM, has launched its second student housing OPCI fund aiming at €150 million in commitments to enable investors to profit from growing demand. Since the student-housing fund was launched in 2011, it has acquired eight student residences across France.

Rentaloflevel in private residences €457 on average Number student units acquired

studio and €542offor a 1-bedroom we fora expect good levels activity in 2015 apartment / month


In the pipeline Only 9,332 student rooms are planned over the next five years Authorised



4,000 3,500


2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 -

2011 2012



2013 2014

Q1 €1000 €1200 2015



Source: Location etudiant

Student housing provision rate* the national average is hiding differences Grenoble Two operators run 41% of the student Aix-marseille Montpellier housing market France average Nantes Market Nancy Group Brand Date Type share Nice Lyon Nexity Studéa 1987 Developer / 23% Rennes Manager Toulouse Bordeaux Groupe reside Les Estudines 1989 Developer / 18% Rouen Etudes Manager Strasbourg OSE 1989 Le Club 9% Manager Lille Edudiant Paris


0%estate 5%Studélites 10% BNP real


15% Manager 20% 1990


Source: CROUS, Adele, Savills / *Number of rooms Graph source: CROUS, Adele, Savills / *Number of rooms divided by number of students dividedArpej by number of students UniverUniverCity 1989 8% Manager



Number of rooms

Graph source: Savills

Melon District opens in Paris In September, the first Melon District opened outside Barcelona. Located in the La Défense area just outside Paris, the property has 191 rooms with access to cooking lounges and shared facilities including a swimming pool. Rents range from €850 to €1,200 per month.



Investment volume

€250,000,000 Paris IDF (excluding Paris) Aix en Provence Nice €200,000,000 Annecy Lyon Lille Average €150,000,000 Strasbourg Montpellier Marseille €100,000,000 Bordeaux Grenoble Toulouse Toulon €50,000,000 Rennes Rouen Nantes Reims €0 Le Havre 2007 2008 2009 2010


1,500 1,000


500 2016



Graph source: Explore

Dom’Ville services

Source: Explore

Student types of accommodation The share of students relying on their parents is decreasing 100% Others

90% 80%

Paris IDF (excludingEspacil Paris) Aix en Provence Habitat Nice Annecy Park&Suites Lyon Etudes Lille Average Strasbourg Montpellier Marseille Bordeaux Grenoble Toulouse Toulon Rennes Rouen Nantes Reims Le Havre




Owner / Manager

1985 6% / month fora studio and €542 for- a 1-bedroom apartment




Rental level in private residences €457 on average FAC habitat Manager

0 2015











Manager 1-bedroom

5% Studio

Developer / Developer Manager / Manager Manager




€1000 €1200


60% Rents (single/couple)

50% 40% 30%

University halls

20% 10% 0% 2000



Living with parents / Familly owned property

Two operators run 41% of the student housing market Group

Melon District, Paris




Number of student units acquired we expect good levels of activity in 2015



1987 Developer /

Market share 23%


SPAIN COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 1,969,000 %International: 3%

Top countries of origin Colombia Italy Peru

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: € 535 - € 1.280

Average montly rent in student accommodation: € 370

National student housing provision rate 8%

Autonomous University of Barcelona Pompeu Fabra University - Barcelona University of Barcelona

Corestate and Villar Mir partner to develop Spanish portfolio Swiss private equity real estate investor Corestate Capital is teaming up with Villar Mir, one of Spain’s largest property groups, to launch a new property platform aimed at building up a sizeable portfolio in the country, including student housing. Corestate is the main investor behind the German student housing company Youniq. Top private Spanish student housing companies:

1. RESA: 8,000 beds

Sources: see page 36

Spain’s economy is recovering after seven years of economic turmoil following the financial crash of 2008. Investments in real estate are up, and student housing is no exception.

2. Residencias Campus: 1,200 beds

3. Campus Patrimonial: 5 residences

90,000 beds in 1,100 residences generating €425 million revenue The Spanish student housing market is extremely fragmented. Research by DBK showed that in 2014 there were 1,100 student residences offering a total of 90,000 beds. This means an average of 81 beds per residence, with most companies owning and managing a single residence. The top five operators make up only 15% of beds, and the top ten cover 21% of the market. Total revenue of the industry was estimated at €425 million in 2014, amounting to €4,722 per bed per year, or €394 per month. The Spanish market is also fragmented in terms of student housing products, generally falling into categories of traditional student housing and apartments, and each of those into public and private ownership. The traditional accommodation (collegias mayores) is closely connected to universities, and rents usually also include meals, laundry, sports and other facilities. ThreeSixty Developments expands Spanish portfolio Recent investment activity in the Spanish market includes the agreements reached by ThreeSixty Developments (former Knightsbridge) for the development of five new student halls of residence, two in the city of Madrid, one in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and two in Barcelona. This marks a further expansion of the British firm’s business operations in Spain, which began in 2012 with the purchase of the Galdós student halls of residence close to the campus of Madrid’s Complutense University. The Student Hotel buys Melon District properties At the end of March 2015, The Student Hotel (headquartered in Amsterdam) purchased two Barcelona student halls of residence leased under a long-term agreement to the operator Melon District for a total that amounts to around €41.5 million.


ThreeSixty Developments, Barcelona



COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 1,771,000 %International: 4%

Top countries of origin Albania China Romania

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: € 150 - € 3.500

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €257

National student housing provision rate 2%

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna University of Trento

Sources: see page 36

Student housing development in Italy has caught the eye of investors and foundations, and new concepts are emerging to accommodate an underserved market. Students move north The economic situation in Italy, and the bleak prospects on the labour market for young people, are having an effect on higher education. Students move north in order to improve their poststudy job prospects. Newspaper Repubblica reported a 45,000 decrease in student enrolments, while universities in north and central Italy reported growth. Combined with budget cuts of the central government, this places southern universities in a tough situation. Fabrica makes push into student housing market In 2012 Italian investor Fabrica started its Erasmus Fund dedicated to developing socially responsible student housing in Italy. In September it opened its first student residence in Turin, called Campus San Paolo, with 573 student beds. The property is located west of central Turin, not far from the Politecnico do Torino. The property includes a gym, WiFi and social and study spaces, and is built around a central courtyard. Rents vary from €340 for a bed in a double room, to €500 for a studio.

Top institutions

Student population: 390,000 %International: 5%

Top countries of origin Brazil Angola Cabo Verde

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: € 950 - € 1.250

Average montly rent in student accommodation: N/A

National student housing provision rate N/A

Instituto Superior Technico Lisboa University of Aveiro University of Coimbra

Sources: see page 36

Limited numbers of dormitories move students into the private rental market where they usually share a flat. Flat shares are the norm The majority of Portuguese higher education institutions do offer accommodation. This is usually spread around the town. Higher education institution campuses that include housing facilities are rare, and sharing a flat with other students is the most common form of student housing in Portugal. Prices vary significantly depending on the city, with Lisbon being more expensive than others. Prices range from roughly €150 up to €350, according to StudyInPortugal. Doorm opens its doors in Lisbon One of the first private student accommodation projects in Portugal has recently opened. Doorm offers a high level of service in a central location. Services include weekly cleaning, a gym, high speed WiFi, social areas and a fully equipped room. It offers a range of room types from shared double rooms starting at €300 per month, to private studios up to €550 per month.

Fabrica also opened We_Crociferi in 2013 in Venice, a 255-bed hostel and student accommodation hybrid. We_Bologna opened in 2015, and a third property in Milan is underway. Rooms in the We_ brand are shared between two or four people, and can be booked per night as a hostel or longer term as student accommodation. Prices start at €330 in Bologna and €370 in Venice, but these rates do not include utilities or cleaning. With its Aristotle fund, Fabrica has also invested in a third student living brand called CampusX, which has locations in Rome, Bari and Chietti. The Student Hotel to open in Florence The Student Hotel has purchased an iconic building in central Florence. The Student Hotel Florence will open in 2017. The Student Hotel Florence will maintain its 19th-century facade but will be fully refurbished inside. Contemporary architecture will frame the 388 students rooms and studios, with a library, study areas, meeting and conference rooms, an incubator for start-ups, a games room, gym and bicycle fleet.

Doorms, Lisbon


Poland COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 1,903,000 %International: 2%

Top countries of origin Ukraine Belarus Norway

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: if in Polish, course€0 fee: € 2300 - € 3680 €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €269

National student housing provision rate N/A

University of Warsaw Adam Mickiewicz University AGH University of Science and Technology

Sources: see page 36

The Polish student housing market is small, especially compared to the size of its student population. With fewer than 9% of students living in university dorms, most choose to share a flat or rent from a private landlord. To add to the supply, the first private, purposebuilt student accommodation developments have appeared, but market fundamentals are challenging. Ageing population The size of the student market makes leading student cities in Poland interesting destinations. With 255,000 students, Warsaw rivals Barcelona – and Kraków, with 170,000 students, falls in the same category as Berlin and Vienna. But Poland’s population has been in decline since 1998, and of its big cities only Warsaw has shown consistent growth; other cities have seen inhabitant numbers plateau or decline. This means that (with local exceptions) there is no shortage of places to live, especially for students who don’t mind sharing a room and living in simple conditions. Mobile students shape the demand The flipside of this demographic situation is that university cities are increasingly becoming active in the competition to attract students, both from within Poland and from abroad. In order to remain competitive and to strengthen both universities and regional economies, a lot of effort is being made to attract students from abroad – and these efforts are proving successful. From 2012 to 2013 the number of international students in Poland grew by 23%. The number has more than quadrupled over the last decade, with the top three countries of origin being Ukraine, Belarus and Norway. These international students often have more to spend and demand higher quality, which has also increased the demand for better quality student accommodation. Existing supply is of insufficient quality Most of Poland’s existing student dorms were built in the era of the Polish People’s Republic. Many of them are in dire need of renovation and have standards of living and service that reflect their low rent levels. Sharing a bedroom with one or two others is general practice, and shared facilities are the norm. Most students find a place to live outside these university-owned dorms, in the private rental sector.


Student Housing project by Karlin Group, Prague

Angel Poland Group develops PBSA in Wroclav Veteran Polish developer Angel Poland Group is now planning to build a state-of-the-art PBSA in Wroclaw. After years of activity in the high-end residential and hotel sectors, the group is keen to develop Poland’s first private student accommodation chain. It is starting with a project in central Wroclaw, Poland’s fourth largest city where every fifth resident is a student (120 thousand in total). The planned project will contain over 400 beds, minutes’ walk from one of the city’s largest universities. Services will include everything from cleaning to social activities and events in the common areas. “Poland is becoming wealthier and the lifestyle of students increasingly resembles that of more developed Western European countries, meaning student expectations are increasing. We aim to provide more than just a room, creating communities and satisfying the growing demand for a better student experience for both local and foreign students,” says Oded Noyfeld of Angel Poland Group. Polonez opens in Poznan Polish property developer The Griffin Group opened the Polonez Academic Centre in Poznan. With 560 beds in single, double and triple rooms, it is one of the first developments of its kind in the Polish market. Polonez Academic Centre offers the comforts of a hotel, including a gym, co-working spaces and complimentary WiFi. Rents range from €203 per month for a single room to €130 for a bed in a triple room.

Czech REP COUNTRY STATS Student population: 427,000 %International: 9% Typical domestic course fee: €0

Top countries of origin

Top institutions

Slovakia Russia Ukraine

(Times World Rankings)

Average montly rent in student accommodation: €147

National student housing provision rate N/A

VSB Technical University Ostrava Brno University of Technology Charles University in Prague

Sources: see page 36

The Czech Republic is the most international of the Central European student markets with 39,000 international students. Karlin Group develops project with over 600 beds in Prague The biggest privately owned, quality student-accommodation project in Prague will offer more than 600 beds with their own bathrooms and kitchenettes and also in a few apartments with shared facilities. This project focuses mainly on generous, attractive, and well thought-out common areas on the first two floors, with a restaurant, bar, multifunctional hall, library, music rehearsal rooms, gym, and study/meeting and party rooms. A courtyard garden with volleyball and BBQ facilities is also part of the project. Prague Student House is located in the district of Holešovice, near Prague city center, adjacent to metro and tram stops with connections to the rest of the city. The project is a few minutes' walking distance from one of the biggest Prague parks, Stromovka, which offers other sport, cultural, and leisure activities.

Hungary COUNTRY STATS Top institutions

Student population: 539,000 %International: 6%

Top countries of origin Germany Slovakia Romania

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €0

Average montly rent in student accommodation: N/A

National student housing provision rate N/A

Semmelweis University Budapest University of Technology and Economics University of Debrecen

Sources: see page 36

The number of students in Hungary tripled in the last two decades. Now that international student numbers are catching up, demand for student housing is increasing too. Education: bigger and more international During the last two decades the number of students in Hungary increased from 100,000 to 340,000 by 2013, reaching its peak at 425,000 in academic year 2005-’06 (source: oktatas.hu). Over a period of 12 years, the number of international students has doubled to 23,208 and 30,000 expected in 2017. About half of all international students study in Budapest. In parallel with the increase in student numbers, there has been a decrease in governmental support for education. One source of extra income is international student tuition; for example, 15% of the entire budget of Semmelweis University now comes from tuition fees paid by foreign students. The government is supporting internationalisation by increasing its scholarship programme for international students, growing from 600 to 5,000 hosted students by 2007. Student accommodation in Hungary Public universities in Hungary provide student housing in their own dormitories, but most of these accommodations are in need of renovation and modernisation in order to meet Western standards. At the moment, there is only one purpose-built dormitory with 60 beds in Budapest offering accommodation specifically for international students. There are also some privately owned renovated dormitories with limited supply, but all dormitories are reported to operate at full occupancy. Current student house prices are from €385 to around €500. Student housing project Budapest The first large size, privately owned, purpose built student house in Budapest is going to be raised with 418 beds next to the Semmelweis Medical University, two subway stations away from the downtown. The house offers high quality rooms, ensuite bathrooms and kitchen, communal spaces like gym, study rooms, video rooms, roof terrace and coffee shop, restaurant and bars. The project has a passage between the university and the subway station, on the ground floor of the building with a 1.500 m2 landscaped park, surrounded by the building. The developer of the project is the Hungarian Forestay Group with the Austrian ValueOne holding AG, the operation will be MILESTONE.


“ For this basic room, I pay a 460-euro monthly rent in a student housing in which four more students live. I cover the rent with my TUSAE scholarship; otherwise, studying here would not have been possible for me. I am grateful I have this opportunity, although living with less than 200 euro per month is rather difficult. However, I feel lucky to be here, in spite of all the struggling Romanians deal with when they come to live in Holland �


Ana Ivan (Romania), Tilburg, Netherlands Image by: www.imagesconnect.com

Ana Ivan (Romania) ,Tilburg, Netherlands


Student population: 3,976,000 %International: 1%

Top countries of origin Azerbaijan Turkmenistan Germany

(Times World Rankings)

Typical domestic course fee: €90 - €460

Average montly rent in student accommodation: N/A

National student housing provision rate N/A

Koç University Bilkent University Sabanci University

Sources: see page 36

The largest student city in Europe isn’t London or Paris; it’s Istanbul. With nine public and 31 private universities in the city, it is a magnet for Turkish and international students alike. Remarkable growth in student numbers In the year 2000, there were about 1 million students studying at Turkey’s universities. In 2014 that number rose to over 5.45 million (source: OECD), following demographic trends and government policy to better educate the population. The number of international students is also rising: 54,000 students came from abroad to study in Turkey in 2014, while Erdar Gündoğan, head of the Turkish Prime Ministry’s International Students Department, has announced the government’s intention to host 200,000 inbound students by 2023. Student accommodation in Turkey comes in many forms, and is provided on or near university campuses in state-owned hostels or on the private market. University and state accommodation is often segregated by gender, and sharing rooms and facilities is the norm. The most affordable accommodation options start at around €50 per month, and can go up to €350 per month, depending on services and location. On the private market, rooms marketed to international students online in Istanbul range from €250 to €500 per month and represent the higher end of the market.

Uniyurt expands into Istanbul Astra is Turkey’s top student housing investment and management company, with 6,000 beds under management, operating under the brand name Uniyurt. Founded in 2009, Astra currently operates across four cities and among its investors are family offices, foreign funds and strategic partners such as IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Astra’s latest development is a student residence in Istanbul. Republika to open third location Republika Academic Aparts is a hotel and student residence hybrid with two locations in Istanbul and a third underway. Republika is the first institutional operator of student accommodation schemes in Turkey and seeks to achieve uniformity of design, experience, social facilities, property management, sales and marketing and tenant relations across all of its managed properties. A JV of BLG Capital and Abraaj Capital, the company offers accommodation in shared rooms, cluster flats and private studios. Studio Santral opens at Bilgi University in Istanbul With 322 beds in 149 rooms, Studio Santral is a newly opened privately owned student residence that aims to elevate the student experience. Murat Yucaoglu, General Director of Studio Santral explains: “We realise that a lot of the attraction of the dormitories is in the way the management works and we try to bond with the students as much as possible so this place becomes a home for them. Our goal is to make this a unique experience that you will remember fondly for years to come.” Studio Santral is owned by Silahtara Real Estate. The company has plans to expand, but first is making sure all systems are in place. The property offers rooms with a modern design of 20-40m2. Amenities like 24/7 security, high-speed WiFi, housekeeping, linen, study rooms and social lounges are included. Prices range from around €320 for a shared room up to €750 for a private suite.

Falling rankings? With the Turkish higher education system growing so quickly, critics are concerned with maintaining academic quality. Until recently, the government pointed these critics towards improving university rankings. Turkish universities were steadily climbing, with four universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) top 200 in 2014, and Turkish HEIs also steadily scoring top spots in the BRIC and Asian rankings. But when THE changed its methodology in 2015, all four dropped out of the top 200. Several Turkish universities contributed to the Large Hadron Collider project with its multiple authors and multiple citations and they also benefited from producing comparatively few research papers and from the regional modification, which gave them artificially high scores for the citations indicator in 2014 but not this year. The worst case was Middle East Technical University, which placed 85th in 2014, helped by an outstanding score of 92 for citations and reasonable scores for the other indicators. This year it was in the 501-600 band, with reduced scores for everything except industry income and a very low score of 28.8 for citations. Studio Santral, Istanbul



CampusĂŠa Palaiseau

RegulationS and investments in student housing Joep van Vliet explores the myriad laws and regulations impacting the student housing market in the Netherlands and beyond, and discovers that in spite of – or perhaps because of – government involvement, private investors are seeing great returns in the Dutch sector. Regulation and investments in student housing Investors in student housing in many continental European markets are confronted with a myriad of national or local laws and regulations that impact their return on investment. This can be direct – via rental caps, taxation or city planning – or indirect, via demand subsidies such as study grants, student loans, rental housing benefits and tuition fees. For investors, a good understanding of local law is crucial to success. For governments, regulations determine investor appetite, the inflow of capital into residential markets and ultimately the quality of student housing stock. The highly regulated market in the Netherlands Compared to other European countries, the residential market in the Netherlands is highly regulated. Rental caps based on a complex system of room features, location and energy efficiency determine the maximum rent for student rooms. Until recently, the country’s student housing stock was solely owned by social housing corporations tasked with providing affordable student ccommodation, and rental caps were well suited to that mandate. However, these limitations also led to underinvestment and a considerable supply shortage. Currently the market is opening up and private investors are benefitting from the excess demand. However, rental caps apply to private investors as well as to social housing corporations. Investment opportunities The attractive returns still clearly outweigh the complexity and risks attached to the government regulation of the rental housing market, as illustrated by the acquisition of the Change= building in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West neighbourhood in the summer of 2015. The American-based Heitman company invested €45 million together with Dutch company Orange Capital Partners. This transaction was especially remarkable because all 500 units will be leased in the regulated segment of the rental market. Although Change= is targeting young graduates and not students, the sale shows that despite rental caps, investors expect an IRR complementary to their investment strategy.

Heitman is not the only investor to see the potential of the Dutch market, and many other investors are funding newly built student houses in the Netherlands. Greystar, another American-based investor, recently purchased Campus Diemen Zuid, former office buildings that have been redeveloped into student housing consisting of 939 rooms as well as commercial spaces. Supply and demand-influenced regulation The Dutch market is influenced by government regulation on the demand side as well as on the supply side. Government policies influence student income and therefore the demand for student rooms, the provision of study loans and rental housing benefits. Students in the Netherlands can take a study loan with favourable interest rates and redemption conditions from the government when enrolled at a domestic university. This loan is intended to provide financial support on top of personal income and parental support. When renting a self-contained room, students can also apply for rental-housing benefit. These rental-housing benefits support demand for self-contained student rooms. Tenants are eligible if their income is below €21,950 for single-person households and €29,800 for multiperson households (2015 figures). Student income will rarely exceed these levels, so a large number are eligible for housing benefits. The award of a subsidy depends not only on income level, but also on the mandated rental price of the room. In 2015, benefits are only granted for self-contained rooms with a maximum rent of €710.68 per month. For students under 23, that figure is lowered to €403.06 in 2015. With rental housing benefit, self-contained rooms become more affordable for students over 23 years as compared to ‘clustered rooms’, for which no benefit is provided. However, the majority of Dutch students are under 23 and therefore only receiving the benefit if their rent is €403.06 or lower. Supply-side regulation On the supply side of the Dutch student housing market, strict rent controls are in place. The main purpose of this policy is to protect the student, and to develop and maintain high-quality housing stock. General regulations within the Dutch rental housing market also apply to student rooms. Whether rent control is applicable to a house or room is determined by certain qualities (square meterage, facilities, energy efficiency, property tax value) and location. A predetermined number of points is allocated for each contributing factor. Point accumulation corresponds with a government-ordained rental level. In 2015, all houses or rooms


scoring points corresponding with a rent of €710.68 or less are part of the regulated segment of the market. These are subject to rent control, a maximum reasonable monthly rent and a maximum annual indexation percentage. If, based on the points system, the rent exceeds €710.68, the room is not subject to these rental regulations.

be let to students and that maximum rents are regulated –must be fulfilled.

Typically small and with limited fittings, student rooms almost always fall within the limits of the regulated market.

Steady rental growth In the regulated Dutch student housing market, the government sets a maximum annual indexation percentage based on inflation. Despite this control, rental levels have been growing at a premium above inflation in recent years. This can, however, be explained by the rent indexation of rental houses with high-income tenants, which are included in the data.

In contrary to the Dutch and German markets, no regulations apply to the student housing sector in the UK. Investors and managers are free to set rent levels and indexation in the contract.

Regulation in Germany and the UK Government involvement in the residential market is not unique to the Netherlands, and a short comparison with the German and UK markets shows the importance of an awareness of local regulations.

Investment opportunities Despite the complex regulations, there is steady rental growth in the Dutch student housing market and indicative prime net initial yields of 6.0% (as compared to 4.25% for multi-family residential properties). This makes Dutch student housing an appealing opportunity to many investors, even with – or perhaps because of – heavy government involvement. Moreover, in the current emerging market, many investors are finding development opportunities that realise premium returns on investment.

In Germany, the demand for student accommodation is influenced by student grants (Bafög). The maximum grant is €597 but is means tested on parental income. On the supply side, student unions (Studentenwerke) provide the majority of student housing in the country and mainly work on a non-profit basis. Rents, therefore, only have to cover costs, and as a result student unions can provide rooms for comparatively low rents. For private investors, in general no rental caps apply to short-term rental contracts or to fully furnished rental apartments. Therefore there are usually no rent restrictions for student accommodation provided by private investors or managers that have not obtained federal state or local authority subsidies. However, if investors do benefit from subsidies, certain requirements – that properties only

Joep van Vliet Senior Research Consultant at CBRE

Historical rental growth of all residential properties (including student housing) and comparison to inflation (CPI) Inflation previous year

Rent increase residentall 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2%

Source: Statistics Netherlands, 2015

Age distribution of students registered at Dutch universities 35 and older 30 to 35 29 28 27 26 25

Rental housing benefit for a room with a monthly rent of up to €710.68

24 23 22

Rental housing benefit for a room with a montly rent of up to €403.06

21 20 19 18 17 and younger


20,000 Source: CBRE






























1% 0%

Greystar, an American-based investor, purchased Campus Diemen Zuid, former office buildings that have been redeveloped into student housing consisting of 939 rooms as well as commercial spaces.

Source: Savills World Research


New liaisons: Connecting The ACUHO-I is the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International. A community of campus housing professionals who believe in developing exceptional residential experiences at colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions around the world. The Class of 2020 spoke with former and current presidents Tom Ellett and Allan Blattner: What does ACUHO-I do? Ellett: “Our members include thousands of campus housing professionals from more than 1,000 colleges and universities that house about 1.8 million students worldwide. ACUHO-I provides this community with the knowledge, network, and professional development that they need to improve.” What are the issues that you are working on now? Ellett: ” I think we are at a critical junction of time for our profession. Some of the big challenges around the world include: governmental mandates in the US and Canada; pastoral care issues in Australia; resources in South Africa; and soft skill development in Europe.” Blattner: “Our goal is to get to a future where the value of the student residential experience is acknowledged universally. To get there we have recently updated our strategic plan, which is based on four pillars.” Four pillars? Blattner: “Yes. Firstly we educate our community. We do this by offering conferences, courses, and institutes on content and by-staff level within an organization, which educates and inspires


Allan Blatner

the campus housing profession. Second: knowledge resources. We need research, we need data, and once we accumulate it, we will share this among our community. The third pillar is about fostering community, by offering expanded engagement opportunities that transcend practice, affinity, geography, career levels and roles. And as our fourth goal, we will be an advocate, making sure the profession’s voice is heard where it is needs to be.” The European student accommodation is different than in most other regions in the world. How do you see this? Ellett: “Campus housing does not exist at many European universities. But what we are seeing is a shift in how universities are thinking about accommodating their students. The residential experience has an effect on student life and student success. This is where we have a lot of knowledge, and we would like to increase our involvement with European universities.” Blattner: “The growth of privatized student housing in the US is helping us think differently about our campus housing stock. Seeing this growth now also taking place in Europe, while universities often don’t own their own housing, gives us an opportunity to learn how to partner with and learn from the public and private off-campus housing market. By being involved with The Class of 2020 we aim to extend our networks in Europe, and stimulate learning about the topic.” Allan Blattner President, ACUHO-i Director of Housing and Residential Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tom Ellett Former President, ACUHO-i Senior Associate Vice President Student Affairs at NYU

Tom Ellett

global housing community CUBO is the UK organisation for College and University Business Officers. In 2015 CUBO became a partner of The Class. We spoke with CUBO Executive Richard Kington about his ambitions to connect to continental Europe. Business Officers? “Yes, our members are senior managers in higher education who take care of the commercial business of universities. This includes managing, developing and administering student accommodation, but also other commercial activities such as catering, retail and conference facilities. CUBO was founded in part to facilitate the exchange of information between higher education institutions within the UK, and now wishes to do the same with higher education institutions and accommodation providers on the continent.” How do you organise this exchange of information? “Most important are our two annual conferences, one in the winter and a larger one each summer. Here we share best practices, invite speakers to sexplore current topics and offer opportunities for members CPD and networking. Throughout the year our volunteer-led knowledge-sharing groups provide practical learning opportunities in the areas of finance, marketing, learning and development, and residence life. But most of all it is the networks that we facilitate that help people find each other and share knowledge and information.”

"In the future, CUBO wishes to work more closely with colleagues in Europe"

Can you tell us about your international ambitions? “When it comes to learning, UK universities have historically looked westward, to the US, or even further still to Australasia, where there are many similarities in approach within the higher education sector and of course a common language. But in the future we wish to work more closely with colleagues in Europe. The higher education landscape is changing fast, and the link to student housing is changing with it. Working together with our closer European neighbours will help stimulate learning across university systems and languages, which may hold many valuable lessons on both sides.” How does The Class of 2020 play into this? “Together with The Class of 2020 we would like to organise a European network of student housing officers. Although the role of the campus - and housing in particular - is quite different in most European countries, we also see that this is now allowing for the emergence of exciting innovative campus and housing initiatives. Sharing knowledge across borders will give us the opportunity to share our experience, but also to learn from new developments across Europe. An example is the session we organised together at the EAIE conference in Glasgow, in cooperation with the Universities of Gothenburg and The Hague.” Can European housing officers contact you? “Our 2016 summer conference will be held at the University of Sussex, and I would very much like to hear from any university officers dealing with accommodating their students, interested in joining us with the possibility for site visits, but certainly very interesting sessions and a chance to meet with UK colleagues.” Richard Kington Executive Member for International Affiliations at CUBO Director of Accommodation Services, University of Edinburgh

How big is CUBO? “Our members represent 88 institutions across the UK, and together generated a revenue of over £1.4 billion in 2011, a number that in 2015 will be still greater. Between them these 88 institutions operate more student beds than anyone else, making them the leaders in the student accommodation sector.”

Richard Kington


Join us at

The Class Conference 2016 November 9-10

The leading European event on student housing Register at www.theclassconference.org


If your property is not already listed on Student.com please email europe@student.com

partners of the class of 2020


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