2016 The Class Trend Report

Page 1

Edition 2017


Annual Trend Report

Learning Hubs

The future of the university city Cities and universities discover the power of collaboration Co-living: communal living concepts beyond the university dorm Updates from Europe’s emerging student housing markets


Complimentary tickets for Europe’s Leading Student Living Conference

Site tours in cities across Europe

Invitations to exclusive networking events to connect with peers



w .t






0 20



Stay ahead on European student living developments with workshops & webinars










20 20




Stay ahead on European student living trends with workshops & webinars

100 Euro discount on Europe’s Leading Student Living Conference

Site tours in cities across Europe

MembERSHIP FOR THE higher education community

Invitations to exclusive networking events to connect with peers

Learning hubs: open for talent

Editorial As we compiled this year’s trends report, we have looked back at 2016 and have seen a world of paradoxes. Across the globe, a mounting divisive rhetoric calling for taller walls and tighter borders challenges ideals of unity and community. At the same time, we have watched as universities and cities increasingly ‘open’ themselves to talent, irrespective of location, as they strive to become the “Learning Hubs” needed for the future. We have decided to focus on the bright side, to be the optimists that help build communities and facilitate connections. Because we know that what we do as universities, city developers and student housing operators makes a difference, and this report shows why and how we can work together. In this report, we explore the growing trend of coliving – turning student housing into multi-functional places of living, studying, and working. We update you on technology platforms that enable students to more quickly and easily choose where to live. We share the experiences and feedback of Erasmus students. We learn from LSE’s Anna Valero about the impact that increasing the number of universities has on raising future GDP per capita (by as much as 4% when the number of universities is doubled). We find out which cities are capitalizing on the 30-40% of international students who wish to stay, work and live in their study destination after graduation. We also highlight a number of initiatives by public and private agencies – responsible for study abroad, city marketing and expat centers – working successfully together to build increasingly ‘open’ university campuses and cities in contention to be the next “learning hub”.

across Europe this October. Global cross-border investment in the student housing sector accounted for 40% of all deals in the last three years, and we have signs this international investment will benefit even more university cities eager to grow and renew their student accommodation stock. At the same time, the increasing costs of education and student housing raises questions of how accessible university life is for all students. The Class examines the issue of accessibility by identifying ways that university cities are ensuring a sufficient supply of affordable housing. But there is room for improvement. We need more capital and reformed zoning and building regulations to further develop sustainable, mixed-use and micro-living concepts. Ian Jones makes the case for why private operators and universities need to invest in resident life and pastoral care. Universities in continental Europe need to take ownership of housing as part of the student experience. Owning and operating student housing may not be necessary, but it is in universities' interest that the students they seek to educate feel happy and at home. We look forward to working with all of you on ensuring that promise of the student experience. Frank Uffen & Wouter Onclin Co-founder The Class of 2020 Foundation Manager

Given the optimistic solutions to student housing we have been seeing, it is not surprising that Savills reported record levels of investment in student housing


Highlights of 2016 We rolled out the red carpet for The Class Conference 2015, welcoming more delegates than ever in a new venue for our fifth annual conference. Growth The growth of our partnership base has sustained in 2016 – we now have 60 partners from all over the world. With the support of our partners we were able to grow our The Class team as well, making it possible to prepare some exciting research topics in the coming years. Launch of higher education membership We believe that connections between universities and housing providers are key in solving many of our student accommodation issues. The Class has launched a membership for the higher education community to support and develop the profession of housing officer in Europe. EAIE Student housing booth Together with three partners, The Class of 2020 launched its student housing presence with an exhibition booth at Europe’s largest international higher education fair. Regional sessions Together with our partners we have launched regional sessions: in-depth student housing sessions in different European countries. In 2016 we organised sessions in Madrid, Berlin, and Amsterdam. In February 2017 the next session is planned for Italy.


Panel at EXPO REAL, Munich

Partner meeting Paris In April, we invited our partners to Paris to discuss the future of The Class of 2020, to explore local student housing projects, to discuss the French student housing market, and of course to strengthen the Class of 2020 community over some delicious French food and wine.

Partner meeting in Paris

Webinar programme To offer learning to a wider community, The Class of 2020 launched its webinar programme. Topics included universityhousing partnerships and investment benchmarking. Other activities: • Panel discussion at PropertyWeek student housing conference, London • Student housing investment briefing at MIPIM, Cannes • Destination marketing session at ITB Berlin • Site visits and networking drinks at LD student housing event, London • Panel discussion at Provada, Amsterdam • Attending the CUBO conference, Brighton • Attending the ACUHO-i conference, Seattle • Student housing investment panel at EXPO REAL, Munich

The Class Conference, Amsterdam

Table of contents 2

HIghlights of 2016


Learning hubs: the future of the university city


Co-living: Communal living concepts beyond the university dorm


How universities accommodate generation Erasmus


How universities accommodate generation Erasmus


Residence Life A holistic approach to student living


Cities and universities discover the power of collaboration


How universities boost economic growth


Design trends for a globally minded generation


the Cost factor: price as competitive edge in europe


exploring europe's models to provide affordable student housing

48 Institutional- grade investors drive student housing to the highest level 50 51 52 53 54 56 58 61 62 64 66 68 69 69 70 71 71 72


74 Talent on the run

40 Housing officers in the spotlight 41

How universities engage in partnerships to fight housing shortage

44 how online behaviour is changing the student sector

Colofon A production of The Class of 2020 foundation Concept & production: Frank Uffen Text & editing: Wouter Onclin, Megan Roberts Graphic design: Super Positive Experience (www.splusx.com) Cover illustration: Chiara Vercesi Printing: Elco Extension, Amsterdam More information: www.theclassof2020.org


Learning hubs: the future of the university city Transformations in student housing, campus development and European city life will increasingly be focused on innovation and collaboration, sometimes at odds with an ever-changing political climate. What do universities as ‘learning hubs’ signify for the cities of the future, asks Arik Day. When Europe’s graduating class of 2020 step past their respective podiums to accept their degrees, they will have ideally been equipped with the innovative skills and thought processes fit for the Google era. To facilitate that, universities are increasingly hedging their bets on online courses and tools, flexible and collaborative spaces, and innovative and interdisciplinary areas of study. At the same time, higher education institutions battle to attract the most promising young international minds in the hopes of strengthening their local and national economies. In Europe, the omen of increasingly closed borders is juxtaposed by increasingly ‘open’ university campuses and cities contending to be the next ‘learning hub’. Driven by the demands of a diversifying knowledgebased and globalized economy, these hubs are determined by the standards not only of the universities themselves, but also through an institution’s collaborations with cities and local businesses. This is a notably 21st-century phenomenon, where the university city necessitates openness, collaboration and partnership as a platform for innovation and change. Student housing: the new frontier in development Student housing is currently going through dynamic shifts in design and functionality. Where once a student dormitory merely required a bed, adequate kitchen facilities and (in recent years) a reliable WiFi connection, student housing today is being refashioned around concepts of ‘community’ which blend living, leisure, socializing and studying functions. Students are increasingly selective in their housing choices, and universities and developers alike have capitalized


on this with contemporary design, strong brands and forward thinking uses of space.1 This reimagining of the traditionally compartmentalized lifestyle of a 21stcentury student is built around a collaborative model intended to nurture entrepreneurial spirit and to build lasting social and professional networks. At the University of Utah in the United States, the institution’s newest student residence has recently been completed as part of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to ‘live, create and launch’ their ideas while studying at the campus, along with a residential community of 400 other student entrepreneurs and innovators. The modern, open concept building includes over 1,800 square metres of creative space for students to host and attend events, build prototypes, compete in competitions and simply hang out.2 In Europe, a student housing shortage has engendered similar approaches to student living, many of which are being developed by private institutions. In Copenhagen, for instance, student housing platform UrbanRigger offers unique modular living spaces that float in the city’s harbour. The property is fully carbon-neutral and features a courtyard, a kayak landing point, a swimming area and a barbeque space, all of which support social interaction.3 While these luxury properties may appear ostentatious in comparison to the frugality of the past, the amenities and social interactions that they foster are increasingly seen as essential to students’ well-being and study experience, particularly to those who come from abroad. From the campus to the cloud (and back) Student housing is not the only part of university life undergoing transformation. The design-based approach utilized in new student housing developments has also been applied to changing campus structures. Universities are increasingly shifting gear toward interdisciplinary and independent study programmes, as well as digital and open-source learning. At the same time, university campuses are being redeveloped, introducing a plethora of modern built forms and

Nick Riley, ‘The Future of Student Housing’, an opinion piece (3 December 2015) See lassonde.utah.edu/studios for photos and more information. 3 www.designboom.com/architecture/big-urban-rigger-shipping-containers-floating-student-housing-copenhagen-bjarke-ingels-group-09-21-2016/ 1


multifunctional facilities. Spaces are increasingly flexible, open and active, enhancing the potential for users to socialize, meet and work together. Thus, the purpose of the university campus has changed: it now functions less as a ‘learning factory’ and more as a breeding ground for talent and innovation. More than ever, the university experience is all-encompassing, with campuses operating more and more like autonomous cities. Businesses are increasingly hosting events and even relocating to these new learning hubs to access an innovative and tech-savvy young workforce. In return, the universities prosper from new facilities and expanded external networks, with each campus functioning as a platform for economic partnership. As universities also need to appeal to a wide range of prospective students, on-site innovation labs and think tanks offer unique work experience and applicable fieldwork opportunities in tandem with study programmes. Just outside Utrecht, the Netherlands, the 300-hectare (re)development of the Science Park personifies this shift in campus planning. In addition to housing two universities and 2,500 student beds, more than 80 organizations and businesses operating in the sectors of sustainability, life sciences and health, and applied gaming economics have relocated to the area. The innovation hub UtrechtInc also houses 20 start-up organizations, and a tram line with direct access to the city centre is currently under construction. Utrecht’s Science Park suggests a trend in which environmental design goes hand-in-hand with flexible

learning strategies. This experience creates a vibrant and fully-activated campus community, which in turn builds entrepreneurial and networking skills necessary for tomorrow’s urban professional. “The campus of the future is a city” Alexandra Den Heijer, a lecturer at TU Delft, was first to propose that the future of the university campus is rooted within the spatiality of its host city. The city itself offers round-the-clock learning opportunities, and via meaningful partnership with local businesses and universities, can offer a fully-immersive learning experience. Cities must, therefore, increasingly ‘roll out the red carpet’ to newcomers and international talent to boost the local economy. Universities can be a city’s economic growth engine, attracting knowledge workers and in turn businesses and visitors. This requires a robust vision and strong administration from universities and municipalities, as well as meaningful investments in campus and city life. In fostering a stimulating built environment, local culture and socio-economic incentives, it goes without saying that investing in attracting international students and entrepreneurs can benefit even the smallest of cities. Some municipalities maintain a distinct advantage in attracting a wide range of students, either through being renowned global metropoles such as London and Paris or by offering a defined and marketable identity such as Barcelona or Amsterdam. Smaller municipalities across

Utrecht science park rooftop garden © Utrecht Toolkit


Europe have also entered the game in partnership with local institutions. In all cases, location and connectivity, the cost of living and tuition and access to entry-level jobs are major components in fashioning an ideal university city. This last point is especially important in facilitating sustainability: many cities lose talented students after graduation to their higher-tier or betterconnected counterparts. This competition between urban regions results in tangible winners and losers within nations and across Europe. Nevertheless, cities like Glasgow, Rotterdam and Lisbon have introduced comprehensive urban strategies to promote their respective university experiences abroad, and have invested in creating an ideal business and urban environment to spark innovation and entrepreneurship in students and graduates alike. In Denmark, the city of Aalborg aims to maintain an ambitious 20% of its population as students, with plans to redevelop a major ‘axis’ of the aging industrial city into a glowing centre of knowledge and culture. The two campuses of Aalborg University will function as its main hubs. Co-living hubs: building futures together A 2009 study suggested that the ‘stay rate’, or percentage of international students staying on in European nations after graduation, exceeded 20%. However, some countries and local governments still have a long way to go in removing administrative red tape, investing in diverse sectors and languages and offering comprehensive career support to potential new knowledge workers. In addition, affordable and flexible living/working space remains of the utmost importance.

to create a ‘village within a city’ where young minds can cross-pollinate and share ideas while also sharing costs. While co-habiting with others likely results in some unavoidable tensions, it is clear that these co-living and co-working hubs continue to inspire innovation and address the needs of students-turned-entrepreneurs even outside of a university setting. Since they function not only as hubs but also as incubators for future innovation, cities and universities alike should support these ventures in hopes that their benefits will radiate out into other sectors of society. Political divides, intellectual opportunities In spite of a generally positive outlook for the collaborative approach to higher education, the fluctuating political zeitgeist of our time remains a looming threat to innovation and internationalization. According to The Economist 4, the distinction between left- and right-wing indicators is becoming blurred and less relevant, instead being supplanted by an ‘open’ versus ‘closed’ politic. While this ideological stalemate between embracing change versus ‘conserving what’s ours’ is not a new phenomenon, it has been exacerbated in the European political realm as of late. The recent Brexit vote, the ongoing refugee crisis and contentious elections in Europe and the United States mean the potential to build bridges between states is increasingly at risk of being replaced by border walls.

While co-working spaces are a well-established response to this need, co-living schemes are becoming increasingly more significant. TalentGarden, headquarted in Milan, offers coworking campuses with over 1,300 members in 17 locations across Europe. Talent is selected directly by the community and is supported by large firms such as IBM as well as 85,000 other corporate partners. Membership of TalentGarden secures access to every campus in order to live, work and grow in a creatively designed space, with access to workshops, meet-ups and master classes with sponsors. Similarly – but on a much smaller scale – the Je m’appelle Company is a co-habited house on a tiny side street in Amsterdam, which houses 25 creatives under one roof. Inspired by one graduate’s experience studying abroad in San Francisco, USA, the goal of Je m’appelle is



“The new political divide: Farewell, left versus right”, The Economist, 30 July 2016

New ways of living together in temporary floating structure © Laurent de Carniere

This political rift leaves urban regions torn between contrary governmental policies. As potential hubs of globalized innovation, knowledge and learning, the impetus to push back against isolationism – particularly among urban intellectuals and internationals – is growing. The city of Vienna is an example of one such place at the whim of a contentious political climate. Recently, Vienna has been cast into the limelight as a cultural powerhouse, and a hub of tolerance and chic coffee houses, with a high quality of life. Yet recent Austrian elections proved that a Eurosceptic and anti-immigration far-right party can still win the vote by a significant margin. The future of the city’s competitiveness in the knowledge economy therefore hangs precariously in the balance as resurgent isolationist politics come to the fore. The United Kingdom’s recent vote to leave the European Union further reveals this deepening rift, with universities – especially those with far-reaching global influence – being caught in the crossfire. Since 75% of British voters under the age of 24 voted against Brexit, campuses across the UK emerged as defined spaces of discontent. Institutions such as Cambridge spoke outwardly against the result, noting that a large majority of its most valuable students and staff originally hail from outside the UK. The vote could therefore have drastic implications for attracting European talent to the UK in the post-Brexit era, and vice versa. While the Bothwell, Ellie. “International Students Save up to One-Fifth after Brexit,” Times Higher Education, 15 September 2016


depreciating pound suggests the potential for cheaper housing and tuition costs5, complications both in the UK and continental Europe paint an uncertain picture of the future. Amidst the murky waters of Europe’s political seas, universities and cities will nevertheless remain important loci of learning, knowledge and innovation. With over 860 universities on the continent alone, a commitment to community and cross-pollination cannot be avoided at any level, whether it is facilitated in student housing and workspaces or at the scale of the campus, city or nation. The EU’s Europe 2020 initiative, which aims for a ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive’ future economy sets these priorities within reach of current and future generations. In supporting cities and universities as learning hubs, we also support lifelong connections, unforgettable experiences and symbiotic exchange – which can only have positive effects on culture, politics and the economy. In effect, this establishes our urban regions and universities as empowering sites of major global change.

Arik Day is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Univeristy of Amsterdam who works as an urban strategist, freelance writer, and researcher.

Sharing dinner in co-living space © Nest



The Collective Old Oak, London © WCEC Architects

Co-living: Communal living concepts beyond the university dorm ROAM, Bali © ROAM

Throughout the 20th century, home ownership was a sign of success, an achievable goal for those who worked hard. Since the millennium, however, the market has proven more cynical, and the 25-35- year-olds of today have become known as ‘generation rent’. To afford to live in the city, this demographic has to find innovative new solutions for urban dwelling, say Joop de Boer and Haley Roeser. Urban living for ‘generation rent’ While millennials may have been locked out of their parents’ dream of owning a home, the fantasy itself has also disappeared. People are settling down later and spending more money on travel and experiences, often feeling weighed down by the notion of owning property. Looking for new forms of living that better reflect changes in the economy – and in society – co-living platforms offer alternative housing options in an otherwise archaic market. In its essence, co-living combines the basics of flat sharestyle living with upgraded services and amenities. These amenities can range from co-working spaces and laundry services all the way to cinemas and saunas. In addition, these platforms tend to be centred on community, and promise a socially fulfilling lifestyle in some of the world’s most prominent cities.

Here, housing is positioned as a service rather than a product, and by offering luxury services and a unique living experience, this flexible framework attempts to outweigh the trade-off of minimal private space. Come for the culture, stay for the community While co-living platforms are becoming increasingly popular, the idea is far from new. Collective living has a long history on a global scale. Ranging from 1970s American commune-style living to longstanding wohngemeinschaft projects in Germany, the idea of living among likeminded individuals is hardly innovative. However, the concept has been much updated and upgraded since, reflecting current lifestyle trends – which of course vary greatly from those of 50 years ago. Previously the preserve of hippies, communal housing is now dominated by itinerant workers, reflecting major changes within the workforce. With the increase of freelancers, contract workers, entrepreneurs and other so-called ‘global nomads’, those working in the creative industries especially are much less tied to specific locations and working hours. This rising itinerant workforce is location-independent and can work from almost anywhere – so long as there is reliable WiFi. While companies used to dictate where people lived, this too has shifted as people spend less time in physical

Co-living room in Copenhagen © Nest


Sharing a meal at WeLive, New York © WeLive

offices. Young creatives are flocking to vibrant locations for experiences and services rather than for specific job offers. On the negative side, because the workspace has been eliminated as a site of social interaction, many such people are struggling to make meaningful connections within their environment. Co-living platforms seek to combat this by integrating a sense of community into their very structure. Modern tribal living Copenhagen-based platform Nest has been using this model to create community for almost three years now. Started by entrepreneurs, Nest was created to “socially hack the entrepreneurial lifestyle for like-minded people”, says resident and chairperson Analisa Winther. The platform requires all applicants to have a highlevel entrepreneurial background, with the average candidate having seven years of start-up experience. Winther emphasises the organic knowledge sharing that occurs within the community, and even reveals that 56% of Nesters have worked together on a start-up since moving in. “Within the start-up community there’s a huge problem, as everyone is so competitive,” she says. “Nest sees much more value in the community itself and the value of living with people who understand where you’re coming from.” The cost of convenience With 550 bedrooms, The Collective is the largest coliving facility in the world. The building, tucked away in London’s Old Oak, offers enough services that residents

shouldn’t have to leave if they don’t want to. By integrating co-working spaces, a cinema, a spa and laundry services, as well as dining spaces, The Collective promises a social environment where community thrives within its 11 floors. While The Collective is one of the most luxurious co-living platforms to date, it does raise questions about how we live. While the building offers nearly endless communal areas, when it comes to personal space, the bedrooms are only ten square metres, emphasising design priorities to “minimise space for maximum use”. Instead, convenience is the selling point of The Collective. Convenience is one of the primary ways in which “generation rent” structure their daily lives. Coliving takes this idea and restructures housing along the same principles: bypassing long-term rental agreements, these platforms make it easy for people to stay for a single night or a calendar year. Residents are provided with a homely furnished bedroom, often complete with a bed that’s always made for them. Roam is another co-living concept that builds on community, but as a roam member, you can be part of that community in any of its locations. For a weekly or monthly fee you can live in any available room in Bali, Miami or Madrid, with locations in San Francisco, Tokyo, London and Buenos Aires underway. Not only the concept of living is changing, borders between sectors are fading as well. WeWork, the global market-leader in co-working spaces, has opened its first co-living residence in New York. In Amsterdam, Zoku is a place where the global nomad can settle down with a hybrid between co-living and hotel spaces. The Student Hotel is another example where students live together with global nomads and tourists.


The Collective Old Oak, London © WCEC Architects

ZOKU Amsterdam © ZOKU

The only hope for the housing market? As co-living takes its position in the housing market, a new lifestyle is introduced that fits the needs of a new breed of urban dwellers. For this next generation, convenience is maximised with comfortable communities already in place and managed in advance. Consequently, given that co-living minimises private space in favour of the communal, acceptance of smaller living at elevated prices becomes a byproduct. In terms of the housing market, co-living seeks to offer opportunities where there is little hope. “We are not solving the crisis, but we are building and offering alternatives,” says James Scott, chief operations officer at The Collective. When it comes to location, convenience is structured around the provision of reasonably priced housing options in out-priced cities. And people are increasingly turning to these co-living platforms as a way to live in cities while still being able to afford to enjoy them. As the world’s most desirable cities become increasingly expensive, people are forced to pick and choose their lifestyle priorities; “having it all” no longer seems as tenable as it once did. Having more by having less Although millennials have grown up amidst global financial crises, this has had little effect in deterring their desire for the finer things in life. As the world becomes increasingly connected, information and ideas are shared faster than ever – and millennials can’t stand to miss out. Under a framework of “access not ownership”, there is a new potential to try the best of everything, without the burdens of (bad) investment. This ideology is best exemplified within the media industry, where we’ve seen a stark drop in CD and DVD sales, and a correlating upspike in streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix. In the physical world, we’ve seen the rise of services such as neighbourhood “tool libraries”, where rather than each home investing in expensive tools they may only need every few years, a membership fee gives borrowing rights on an as-needed basis.

Rather than forcing out global nomads, cities should be taking notes and embracing the cultural benefits brought about by this demographic. As key trend-drivers of the economy, millennials are leading the way in the formation of new urban communities. Organised by specific interests, demographics or even lines of work, these new communities replace the standard idea of traditional neighbourhoods. Consolidating the scale of community from the street level to a compact building, co-living streamlines interactions through systemic convenience. But idealised as they are, the rise of these platforms is still a relatively recent trend and has only gained popularity within the last few years. Observing from ground level, only time will tell if these buildings will collapse or become monumental in reshaping our urban housing framework.

Co-living platforms simply connect these notions to the housing market, and reconsider how best to integrate shared services within the sector. Some platforms have even gone so far as to embrace the urban mobility market by combining car- and bike-share services. While not all platforms go this far, basic homeware is available for sharing as standard, and kitchen, living and bathroom spaces have all been communalised. Shared kitchen at The Student Hotel © The Student Hotel


How universities accommodate generation Erasmus Europe’s first large-scale student housing research shows that students heavily rely on university help, but universities struggle to find the accommodation to support their accommodation goals, finds Jérémy Apert. For decades, the European Commission (EC) has worked to break down barriers between European higher education systems. The Bologna process has harmonized study programmes, making it a breeze for European students to study in other European countries. International student exchange serves as a tool for creating better understanding between cultures and establishing ties and networks that span a continent. The EC has supported this form of exchange mobility with funding for Erasmus students, and has set a goal for 2020: 20% of graduates should have had an international study experience. But while the barriers in academia may have been broken down, the commission is looking at other factors that might discourage students from going abroad. Housing is often the biggest cost involved in studying abroad, and international students are often confronted with oversaturated housing markets. First European student housing survey To date, very few studies have been conducted on international student housing in Europe. The HousErasmus+ project aims to rectify that and identify the main challenges international students and trainees face when looking for accommodation abroad. The project also aims to gather the best practices from universities, student organizations, policymakers and housing providers to improve the situation in Europe. The HousErasmus+ study includes a literature review and five surveys targeting international students and trainees, universities, housing providers, student organizations and policymakers. It also comprises ten study visits across Europe to complement the quantitative analysis. The information contained in this article is drawn from the university and student surveys, which reached 8,000 students and 600 higher education institutions from all over Europe.


Top 5 respondents per home country




Top 5 respondents per host country





How do students find their accommodation? Finding accommodation is especially complex from a distance. However, 70% of survey respondents managed to arrange their accommodation before going abroad, and of these 30% had the host university arrange it for them. The most important source of information was the website of the host university. This means that the way that universities communicate about accommodation has an enormous influence on the decisions that students make. The role of universities It’s clear that higher education institutions are the number one place that visiting students consult when looking for accommodation. And universities are actively getting involved in helping students. Some provide accommodation, and many provide information about housing without directly handling it. Almost two thirds of students found the information they received useful. On a scale of 1 to 5, the average rating of the usefulness ranged from 3.3 in Greece, Lithuania and Portugal, to 3.9 in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. When asking the universities’ International Relations Offices (IROs) about accommodation issues, over 61% of respondents said that more than half of the international

Of the 30% of students that did not book accommodation in advance:

Before going abroad:



4.1% 6.7% had accommodation arranged for the entire stay had nothing arranged had accommodation arranged only for the first days/weeks


Of the 70% who arrange housing in advance: 3% 3% 3%

89.1% How was accommodation arranged: found accommodation by themselves. found accommodation through host university found accommodation through student organisations such as ESN other


Of all students, in what type of accommodation did students stay: 2%




How was accommodation arranged: self arranged arranged by host university arranged by host organisation/ company arranged by home university arranged by student organisation other


in shared flats in university residences in private accommodation with family members

36% 33% How useful was the information on housing from the host university? Slovakia Sources students use to find accommodation:

Romania Bulgaria


United Kingdom




Poland university accommodation services a general website for finding accommodation social media channels friends or other personal connections

Latvia Hungary Belgium Norway Italy France Czech Republic Spain

Which source led to a booking of accommodation:

Netherland Germany



Turkey university accommodation services General websites for finding accommodation Through friends or other personal connections social media channels


Finland Croatia Portugal Lithuania Greece


3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9


students come to them for information on finding housing. 88% of respondents saw it as their task to provide incoming students with information on housing, and 30% of respondents said they had at least one staff member focused primarily on helping students find accommodation. The majority of universities, however, provide accommodation support either via interns, student helpers or part-time work from colleagues with a more general role 36% of the universities had more than six employees in their International Relations Office, showing a dedicated commitment to internationalization. 87% of respondents named internationalization as a university priority. But supporting students does not always lead For the HEI, internationalisation is a priority


1% 1%


58% totally agree somewhat agree neither agree or disagree somewhat disagree totally disagree I don’t know

29% The HEI attempts to remove accommodation obstacles for incoming students

4% 3% 3%

to success, and many respondents fear that housing is a barrier to internationalization. In fact, 53% of university respondents considered a lack of accommodation to be an obstacle to the HEI’s internationalization goals. In order to solve this, the IROs make suggestion to improve the situation. Some of the suggestions: • Increasing agreements and synergy between universities and the private housing sector • Increasing HEIs’ responsibilities in finding accommodation • Increasing staff qualifications to deal with the issue • The creation of centralized databases for reliable landlords • The creation of platforms where universities, housing providers, policymakers and students meet • Increasing the responsibility of the city in accommodating international students Financial aspects In the survey, 62% of student respondents stated they found accommodation that represented good value for money, yet slightly more than 40% said that accommodation costs were higher than expected. The results varied considerably depending on the host country: Bulgaria and Slovakia were considered the least costly and Iceland, the UK and Ireland the most expensive. Homeowners are reluctant to rent to international students 9% 24% 15%

40% totally agree somewhat agree neither agree or disagree somewhat disagree totally disagree I don’t know


12% 24%



The HEI can meet all demand for housing international students

Lack of accommodation is an obstacle to HEI internationalisation


2% 20% 18%

27% 28%

14% 18%


totally agree somewhat agree neither agree or disagree somewhat disagree totally disagree I don’t know

totally agree somewhat agree neither agree or disagree somewhat disagree totally disagree I don’t know

20% 26% 9%


totally agree somewhat agree neither agree or disagree somewhat disagree totally disagree I don’t know

When asked whether the extra cost made it difficult to finance studying abroad, more than 60% of those staying in Norway (73%), Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy and Turkey responded in the affirmative. Students and interns staying in Bulgaria reported the fewest difficulties. Accommodation was good value for money:

8% 29% 13% 33%

totally agree somewhat agree neither agree or disagree somewhat disagree totally disagree

as their responsibility to accommodate these students, but do not generally have the capacity to solve the issue for all of their visiting students. Increasing the cooperation between housing providers and universities seems like a logical step to address these issues. While these are complex issues without easy or quick fixes, it is important that all stakeholders – including HEIs, policymakers on all levels, housing providers and student organizations – recognize the problem and do their best to overcome the obstacles that currently exist. Percentage of responders perceiving costs of accomodation higher that theay had expected, by host country (only countries n>30) Bulgaria


Slovakia How do exchange students and interns finance the additional cost of accommodation?

Czech Republic Greece Romania




Poland have to turn to family support, stating they make use of family funds, use their personal savings, save on other things such as food or clothing no response



Slovenia Finland Germany Spain Croatia Hungary

Discrimination and fraud Unfortunately, the survey also reveals that many international students suffer from discrimination and/ or fraud. 18.6% of respondents said that they faced discrimination, and the countries with the highest numbers were Turkey, Denmark and Italy. The lowest numbers were in Norway, Finland and Croatia. An average of 12% of respondents said they had experienced fraud, ranging from less than 2% in Slovakia and Norway to over 20% in Turkey, Denmark and Ireland. The types of fraud mentioned included fake advertisements posted on social media or being asked for a deposit in return for receiving a key via mail. It should be noted that of the 12%, some refer to attempted fraud rather than actually being cheated. The issue of student accommodation is clearly a hot topic within the Erasmus programme. Students struggle to find the right place to live, although the majority do eventually seem to land on their feet. Universities see it

Lithuania Sweden AVARAGE Estonia Norway France Latvia Turkey Belgium Italy Austria Switzerland Denmark Netherlands Iceland United Kingdom Ireland 0% 10%

20% 40% 60% 80% 30% 50% 70%


Percentage of respondents experiencing fraud while looking for accommodation in their host country (only considered if n>50)

Forms of discrimination

Slovakia Norway Finland Lithuania Romania Czech Republic Spain 0%

10% 20%

30% 40% 50%

Slovenia France

Percentage of responders who face discrimination in their host country (only considered if n>50)

Bulgaria Austria

Norway (158)


Finland (295)


Croatia (84)


Spain (1013)


United Kingdom (472)

United Kingdom

Ireland (108)


Iceland (60) (137)


Estonia (70)


Austria Czech Republic



Bulgaria (75)


Portugal (727)


Greece (78)


Sweden (203)


Romania (74)


Belgium (453) Slovakia (55)


Slovenia (68)


Latvia (68)


Germany (774)


Poland (472)


Hungary (369)

10% 20% 30% 15% 25%

France (480) Lithuania (101) Netherland (589) Italy (589) Denmark (254) Turkey (n=#)



10% 20% 30% 40% 5% 15% 25% 35% 45%

Within ESN, JĂŠrĂŠmy Apert is responsible for the implementation of the Erasmus+ funded project called HousErasmus.


The HousErasmus+ project will continue until October 2017 and in the last months of the project ESN will produce policy recommendations on the topic which will be spread to decision-makers on European as well as national levels. If you would like to get involved or if you would like to see more results from the surveys, see houserasmus.eu or contact house-erasmus@esn.org.

Residence Life

A holistic approach to student living Ian Jones explores the concept of residence life: a comprehensive programme of services and initiatives that is facilitating and supporting the development of student learning communities. Gone are the days when higher education was solely about, well, education. Today, universities serve as a segue into adult life, and what happens outside the classroom is oftentimes just as impactful on students’ academic and personal success as what they learn inside it.

Residence life fun run © University of Sheffield

run by professional university staff, with the help of carefully selected student leaders. Their mandate is to support the development of safe and inclusive student communities that facilitate opportunities for interaction and friendship in an environment where consideration for others, mutual respect and a desire to learn are both valued and encouraged.

And that’s where so-called ‘Residence Life’ departments enter the equation, focusing on everything from welfare support and conduct guidance to skills development, social and civic engagement, events and sport.

The origins of residence life In the UK, university residential facilities were historically built to meet the practical needs of students who travelled long distances to pursue an education and for whom boarding was the only option. Soon, and as a matter of course, all collegiate universities housed most if not all of their students and academic staff, who were brought together in an inclusive living and learning environment.

Typically part of the wider accommodation or student services sector, Residence Life departments are usually

The tenets of residence life • Welcome activities and events • Local exploration and induction • Welfare guidance • Signposting to specialist services • Conduct and discipline • Educational campaigns • Community living advice and support • Mental health support • Social events • Give-it-a-go activities • Social and competitive sports • Excursions • Personal wellbeing and fitness activities and classes • Holiday celebrations and cultural awareness • Charity work and volunteering • Academic and life skills development • Environmental activities • Educational presentations and talks • Food events and education • Film nights • Games events • Support for student-led activities

The collegiate residential models of elite English universities such as Oxford and Cambridge – where the emphasis was on both the students’ intellectual achievements and also their broader personal, moral and social development – were soon emulated and developed by North American and Australasian institutions.







Kuh, GD, Schuh, JH, Whitt, EJ & Associates, Involving Colleges: Successful Approaches to Fostering Student Learning and Personal Development outside the Classroom (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991).



“We never educate directly, but indirectly by means of environment. Whether we permit chance environments to do the work, or whether we design environments for the purpose, makes a great difference.” - John Dewey Spurred by those global developments, the UK has witnessed a surge in Residence Life programmes in recent years. The result is an ongoing evolution of services from the traditional ‘pastoral care’ model (comprising welfare support and conduct guidance) into a broader approach to the residential student experience, with a sharper focus on the development of communities and support of students’ individual and collective achievements. The Sheffield model Research shows that approximately 75% of what students learn is a result of experiences outside the classroom.1 The residence life department at the University of Sheffield embraces the unique opportunity to consciously and holistically enhance domestic students’ university experience. Some of what students learn outside the classroom happens in an organic way – by sharing accommodation or facilities with diverse and international flatmates, for example – but some ‘life lessons’ must be learnt through more intentional methods. Sheffield’s Residence Life team use a variety of methods



Drink smart © University of Sheffield

to develop well-integrated learning communities. These include the provision of support, the promotion of community standards (through conduct meetings) and the engagement of students in a wide range of events, activities and sport. To ensure that students are developing skills and achieving academically, all methods are linked to the department’s aims, which are not dissimilar to academic learning outcomes. The aim is to support resident students to: • Acquire skills necessary for living harmoniously in a multicultural and international community; • Acquire skills that complement academic competencies in readiness for a global employment market; • Become positively involved within the studentand larger community; • Appreciate difference and diversity; • Respect and understand rights and responsibilities; • Develop mature relationships; • Demonstrate integrity; • Demonstrate self-awareness; • Develop a balanced lifestyle.



• Approx. 6,000 resident students • Residence life manager • 3 Residence life officers • 70 Residence mentors • International intern • Only mentors live in accommodation • Support and conduct directly funded by university • Activities and events funded through student contribution of £40 per year • ‘Living & Learning’ funded through accommodation services surpluses • Partnerships with students’ union, Sport Sheffield and university student services

• Approx. 9,000 resident students • Residence life director • 4 Residence life coordinators • 2 Assistant residence life coordinators • 22 Resident wardens • 203 Resident assistants (RAs) • International intern • Wardens and RAs live in accommodation • Residence life funded through student rents and trading activities • Independently managed and organised

Kuh, GD, Schuh, JH, Whitt, EJ & Associates, Involving Colleges: Successful Approaches to Fostering Student Learning and Personal Development outside the Classroom (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991).

valuable lessons even from conduct meetings.

Social men's basketball © University of Sheffield

This is achieved via two main areas. ‘Support & Conduct’ concentrates on the welfare and conduct of students in university residences by liaising closely with other departments – particularly student services – to ensure consistent, appropriate and timely responses to student issues. ‘Engagement & Development’, meanwhile, aims to build a sense of community and belonging by offering a broad range of activities, events, sports and fundraising and volunteering opportunities facilitated via close partnerships with accommodation and commercial services, the students’ union and the non-university affiliated Sport Sheffield. As a seminal part of E&D, the ‘Living & Learning’ programme supports students’ residential experience by integrating it within the wider academic context of the university, and offers a varied programme of guest lectures, skills workshops and other training, leadership and development opportunities. Aside from learning varied skills – from pitching an entrepreneurial idea to riding a bike and from balancing a budget to cooking – students also benefit from personal growth. A tale of two cities Until fairly recently only a handful of UK institutions had fully embraced the concept of Residence Life, but that is rapidly changing as the benefits are more widely recognised. American universities, by contrast, have pioneered Residence Life for decades, and provide many positive examples of how such programmes can be successfully organised. In developing Residence Life at the University of Edinburgh a few years ago, different approaches were analysed and assessed, and both Edinburgh and Sheffield embraced or adapted those ideas best suited to their operations for bespoke Residence Life programmes. Reaping the benefits Where established Residence Life programmes exist, repeat misconduct among resident students is generally very low (c. 2%), indicating that students are learning 2


But while research has been undertaken to demonstrate the impact that housing programmes have on student development, retention, and satisfaction levels, more focused research needs to take place – especially in the UK – in order to quantify further the specific benefits that higher education institutions gain from supporting a Residence Life programme. There is, however, little room for the outdated notion that university housing is merely a place to sleep. Organisations such as the College and University Business Officers (CUBO) in the UK, the Association of College and University Housing Officers – international (ACUHO-i) in the US and the Australasian Association of College and Housing Officers (AACUHO) provide excellent sources for networking and research within the sector. Their work reveals that students need and demand more and more from their accommodation. In order to consider consumer demand for the future, ACUHO-i recently launched the 21st Century Project, aiming to set new standards for university accommodation that can sustain the ‘ever-changing roles residences play in the student experience’.2 The work of Residence Life has a significant impact on resident students, and survey results at Sheffield indicate that 85-87% of students (consistent across all nationalities, genders and academic years) are satisfied with the services provided. Over 77% of students feel part of the community. 76% of postgraduate students appreciate the provision of leadership skills (such as public speaking), while 86% of undergraduates (87% UK; 88% EU students) value study skills; and 75% appreciate life skills (such as cooking, budgeting, cycling, First Aid etc.). At Edinburgh, 90.4% of respondents express satisfaction with the types of events organised by Residence Life staff – academic, community building, excursions & cooking school – and 85.7% of respondents said they felt part of their residential community. The 21st Century Project survey, organised through USbased company Skyfactor, captures data on a number of issues, including the quality of accommodation, safety and security, as well as the professionalism of staff and students’ perception of their own personal development, measured by asking students whether they have improved their interpersonal skills, their knowledge


Selfie run © University of Sheffield

and understanding of what is it to live harmoniously in a diverse community, whether they have increased appreciation of sustainability issues, and so on. Crucially, Skyfactor surveys allow longitudinal comparisons within an institution and benchmarking across both a broad range and a select group of six comparable institutions. “A student who feels secure, warm, comfortable and able to mix with friends and colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds, countries and disciplines will be better placed to make the most of their university life. […] As a university, what our residences do is a key part of providing an environment in which students can flourish both as scholars and indeed as individuals, both of which are central to our mission.” — Wyn Morgan, Pro VC Learning and Teaching, the University of Sheffield The private sector An increasing number of private student accommodation providers are beginning to appreciate that so-called ‘soft’ services focusing on community building and the student experience are markedly beneficial – not merely in regards to customer satisfaction but also in terms of reputation, retention and thus the financial ‘bottom line’. In recent years private providers building for the general market have increasingly added more communal space and facilities to new buildings, having seen the growing trends within university-developed accommodation. Some are even investing in additional student support


resources in recognition of the fact that students now expect and need more from their accommodation than just a place to sleep. “Our business purpose, Home for Success, focuses the business and ensures our commitment to support and enhance the experience through every aspect of our operation.” — Richard Smith, Unite The European story Private providers in Europe clearly recognise the importance of good communal space – to encourage sociability and community building – and of study space, to support academic activity. Increasingly, of course, modern students see these two as interchangeable. What is often missing in the European model is staff to support student welfare or (help) organise the activities commonly found in Residence Life programmes. As long as universities continue to take little interest in the welfare of students outside the academic sphere, it remains unlikely that the private accommodation sector will make necessary changes. Driven by the bottom line, it may be that in the future private providers are forced to recognise the competitive advantage in providing better facilities and more support for students. To make real progress, however, engagement by or with the institutions remains critical, and in many European countries, that will require a much more holistic approach to further education than is seen at present.

Jasper Bras, Delft, The Netherlands Š Henny Boogert, Images Connect

Call to join our research

How student accommodation impacts the success of students How do the different characteristics of housing impact students’ studies? What facilitates success? What hinders it? Help us to better understand the things that make students tick and how their homes away from home contribute to learning in and out of the classroom. If you have any resources or thoughts on this subject, reach out to us and support our research efforts. For more information, contact us at research@theclassof2020.org.


Cities and universities discover the power of collaboration Samuel Vetrak investigates how greater marketing synergy between universities and the cities in which they are located can maximize international student numbers and amplify the attendant social and economic benefits. Destinations are increasingly aware of the benefits of international students, be it their immediate economic impact – ca. €10m per 1,000 international students per annum – or positive social impact on the fabric of the city and the local talent pool. Incoming international students also contribute to the overall visitor economy, generating additional tourism visits through their friends and relatives (VFR). Similarly, the students themselves generate repeat visits when they return to the destination in later years, as tourists or business travellers. Most importantly, on average 30-40% of international students wish to stay, work and live in the destination after graduation, and become a great addition to a talented, skilled workforce, as well as generating additional revenue and taxes for the city – which is so important in today’s challenging demographic development in Europe. For universities, international students represent similar benefits as they do for destinations: they enrich the student population and its fabric, create an additional source of income – which is usually higher per capita than in the case of domestic students – increase international exposure and reputation via foreign students and their networks, and build a solid foundation for additional enrolments and sustainable development of the university in the future. The benefits of increasing international education for cities and universities are great. The direct and indirect economic footprint of international students, including tuition, accommodation and living costs, now exceeds $100bn. No wonder so many destinations and universities are increasingly exploring the potential.


New targets, smarter strategies, aligned activities In the last five years, more than in the previous 20 years cumulatively, destinations have set new targets, built new strategies and increased marketing activities, many of them with ambitions to double their numbers of international students in less than ten years. Higher intensity and engagement of destinations and universities to recruit students internationally has led to a wider range of strategies being deployed to attract them. Traditionally less attractive destinations and institutions begin by making their education and lifestyle offerings more appealing to international students. The serious ones – be it by approach or ambition – start with building a solid strategy for success. When it comes to marketing activities, approximately half of universities use so-called ‘armchair recruitment’ – methods not requiring an in-person presence in source markets (alumni, social media, digital marketing, university listing portals, scholarships). The other, more active half travels abroad to the source markets and engages with prospective students directly (overseas trips to meet education agencies, individual visits, trade missions, familiarization tours, student fairs, highschool marketing, partnerships with local universities, professional associations, employers, media). Best-case practices Naturally, cities and universities have many reasons to work on these endeavours together, provided their motivations and benefits are aligned. Increasingly, we see both parties investing their capacity and resources into orchestrated or joint efforts, reaching either economy of scale or better results than they would independently. Copenhagen: City Marketing and Study in Denmark share office In Copenhagen, for example, they start from the very basics – the City Marketing team (tourism) and Study in Denmark department (education) sit in the same office building, share the same canteen and work together very closely. By nature of this modus operandi, they have created a solid foundation to explore and find synergies in planning and execution.

-JAPA 20









202 5







202 20



-TURK 20




-CHIN 20



-POLA 20







-FRAN 25






Growth targets for incoming international students

Source: StudentMarketing

Rotterdam: Share marketing expertise In Rotterdam, City Marketing enables universities to use their marketing expertise and capacity, and in practice cooperates with and supports universities by helping them to identify the right marketing messages, produce marketing collateral for fairs and events, connect to overseas partners, as well as help private stakeholders to set an international summer programme to make the offering more appealing. Glasgow: Broad collaboration for city and education marketing The City of Glasgow is supporting universities even more. The economic board has made its resources available to provide coordination of international marketing activities for the city’s eight HE & FE institutions. Not only is the City providing a benchmark exercise, but it is also conducting research and helping identify the right international markets for marketing activities. In practice, it has helped to create a study portal, improved institutions’ visibility and participation at the Commonwealth Games and brought the attention of the international education audience to Glasgow, by bringing a major international education conference, EAIE, to the city in 2015 (attended by over 4,000 sector professionals).

The Hague: City and universities sign covenant The Hague and its HE institutions are one of the best examples of cities and universities working together. In June 2012, the Platform Den Haag Studentenstad (Platform for The Hague – Student City) was established by signing a covenant between the municipality of The Hague, the city’s higher education institutions, the Acku Cultural Office and The Hague Student Union. The platform aims to strengthen The Hague’s position as an (international) study destination, working together with the business community (via ICPlatform) and public authorities. Academia, trade and public sectors are working together to put The Hague more firmly on the international education arena map and bring more talent to the city. It has already resulted in an appealing study and information portal, strategy building, adjustments to convenient studying and the living environment for international students, including increased accommodation supply, to make it more affordable and attractive for international students. Helsinki: Improving campus-city connections In Helsinki, both city and universities understand the importance of education supply and work together to provide a better offer to international students. Not only are they participating in the implementation of the competitiveness strategy, but within it, the City has agreed to speed up public transport connections


People Make Glasgow campaign © Sarah Keene

between campuses, enhance students’ housing conditions and set up an integrated campus area network between HE institutions. Universities, on the other hand, provide their programmes in a variety of languages – including Mandarin and Finnish, for example. Mainz: Leverage existing network In Mainz, the university leverages the city’s sister agreements with other cities in Europe and the opportunities they open up for institutions. Put simply, the university uses existing relationships and infrastructure to build partnerships with universities in sister cities, with ease and efficiency. The city of Mainz has sister city agreements with Dijon, Haifa, Valencia and Zagreb, and the Johannes Gutenberg University has established university partnerships with universities in these cities. Incoming international scholars and students are encouraged to address the Citizen Center and Aliens Department in Mainz with questions concerning their stay in Mainz (regarding, for instance, registration or residence permits). When it comes to joint marketing activities, collaboration between destinations and universities oversees seem to be more mature and active. Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Vancouver, Alberta and Nova Scotia are much more active in targeting international students than their European counterparts. Nova Scotia: Missions, tours and PR Nova Scotia, for example, is conducting more than five overseas joint marketing activities each year, be it group delegation within trade missions to Europe to meet key education stakeholders and senders of students or familiarization tours for agencies from Latin America. Besides education-focused trade missions and tours, initiatives include press tours for journalists, bloggers, vloggers, and guidance counsellors.


Australia: Coordinated marketing approach Australian cities and universities are perhaps the most mature in international marketing, both in terms of the variety of channels as well as the frequency of their usage. Local schools in Sydney recently coordinated the ‘World’s biggest English lesson’ at Bondi Beach, which earned them a place in The Guinness Book of World Records and the attention of the world’s media – for no extra investment. Denmark: Alumni become ambassadors Smart moves do happen in Europe, too. Denmark has a programme called ‘Alumni marketing’ in the world of international student recruitment, turning international graduates into ambassadors and active promoters of the destination. Youth Goodwill Ambassador Corps is a global network of international students deeply engaged in the social, political and cultural foundations of Denmark while in the country. Upon returning to their home country, they work on a voluntary basis later on to promote Denmark as an attractive study and future career destination. Vienna, Amsterdam, Ferrara, Milan, Lyon, Brussels, Munich, Bonn, Prague, Budapest: tier 1 and even more tier 2 cities are strategically getting involved in the international education arena. The list is long, and is rapidly becoming longer. The pattern is similar though: it all starts with recognition of value for both cities and universities, and is then followed with a strategy that sets forth the most suitable promotional activities. Early adopters of this strategy, such as Australia, now benefit greatly: international education is the country’s third largest export sector ahead of tourism and the production of goods. Samuel Vetrak is the CEO of StudentMarketing, a market intelligence and strategic consultancy for development in international education, assisting cities, institutions and investors to better understand and succeed within the sector.

Lisa Bertram, Cologne, Germany Š Henny Boogert, Images Connect

Call to join our research

How university-city collaboration helps attract talent The competitive arena in which universities and cities operate is changing quickly. Join us as we set out to learn more about the role that collaboration between universities and cities can play to help cities stay ahead. If you have ideas on the different ways that cities and universities can work together to build talent attraction strategies, let us know! Contact us at research@theclassof2020.org.


How universities boost economic growth Anna Valero explores the relationship between higher education expansion and regional economic growth. In 1900, only about one in 100 young people were enrolled at universities worldwide. Over the course of the next century this became one in five, as recognition of the value of human capital became widespread. In a recent paper, the National Bureau of Economic Research compiled new data based on UNESCO’s World Higher Education Database to examine the relationship between university entry and regional growth between 1950 and 2010. It turns out that the expansion of higher education in this period was not just the product of riches; it helped fuel economic growth around the world. The rise of the university The word ‘university’ was first used by the University of Bologna, founded in 1088. As the first modern such institution, it was distinct from the religion-based colleges that had come before. It was a community with administrative autonomy, courses of study, publicly recognized degrees and research objectives. Since then, universities have spread worldwide in broadly the same form. This analysis focuses on the period since 1950 when university growth was particularly rapid, partially driven by the belief that higher education is essential for economic and social progress. While many might take this notion for granted today, before WWII, fears of ‘over-education’ of the masses were widespread. One obvious way that we might expect universities to impact growth is through the production of human capital. Empirical macroeconomics literature has generally found that at both country regional levels, human capital (typically measured by years of schooling) is important for development and growth. Universities may also be expected to affect growth by stimulating innovation in their surrounding region (e.g. Silicon Valley). UNESCO’s World Higher Education Database shows that increases in university numbers significantly raise future GDP per capita in a region. Doubling the number of universities raises future GDP per capita by about 4%. Moreover, it is clear that this is not simply a case of ‘reverse causality’, that faster growing regions establish more universities. In addition, we find that universities


increase output in neighbouring areas within the same country, with stronger effects for geographically closer regions. Doubling the universities in one region increases that region’s income by 4% and country-wide income by 0.5%. Costs versus benefits Of course, policy makers are not only interested in the potential benefits universities bring, but also in the costs of building and maintaining them. In the UK it is estimated that if one university were added to each of the country’s ten regions, this would equate to a 0.7% increase in national income (£11.3 billion based on 2010 figures). This is higher than the likely annual cost, which averages around £1.6 billion. The university effect also seems to be related to increasing the supply of skilled graduates, who raise productivity in the firms for which they work. Universities also boost innovation (as measured by an increase in patenting). A cynic might claim that universities affect growth in a mechanical way: more people move to the region and consume more ‘essentials’. But the positive impact remains even when population growth is factored in. It could also be that where universities are financed by transfers into a region – say, from the national government – there is a mechanical impact on GDP per capita. But even under some very generous assumptions on the size and spending of a new university, this is unlikely to explain a large fraction of the results. So it seems that – based on international data since the 1950s – universities matter for growth. Using the UK as an example, it can be confidently estimated that the benefits outweigh the costs. Assuming that any new universities have the same qualities as those we already have, it seems policies to encourage entry to the sector would be good for economic growth.

"In the UK we estimate that if one university were added to each of its ten regions this would lead to about 0.7% higher national income."

19 8



19 20

19 48


17 91

14 73

16 27

18 39

10 11 88 17 11 75 12 12 18 29 13 0 8

18 72





0 0 18

0 0



0 0 14

0 12

0 10





The global growth of universities over the last thousand years

Source: World Higher Education Database (WHED). Dates marked when the number of universities in the world doubled.

Anna Valero, Economics PhD candidate at the LSE, and Research Economist at the Centre for Economic Performance, on the growth programme.

This article is a summary of the paper “The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe� by the National Bureau of Economic Research: www.nber.org/papers/w22501 Anna Valero



Student Room © WCEC Architects

Design trends for a globally minded generation Architect Nick Riley charts the recent history of student accommodation design – and makes some predictions for how it will look in the future, to meet the ever-increasing demands of “the most formally educated generation ever, the most technology supplied generation ever, and globally the wealthiest generation ever”. If you’re over 35, the chances are that when you think of student accommodation, identical halls of residence spring to mind – all grey facades and drab interiors, form resolutely limping along in function’s wake. But as higher education institutions have expanded, the evolution of student living design over the last ten years has been extensive and significant – especially when compared to the much slower progression seen in the open-market urban residential sector. And that’s because the clientele has become increasingly demanding… The inside story The progressive stages of student bedroom design can be defined by the ‘generations’ that lived in them. For the purpose of this article, the first generation emerged in the late 1990s and lasted until around 2006. Student living development at this time was basic, functional and high density. Amenity space was minimal at best. Interior specifications were informed by ageing university halls of residences and generally lacked imagination and any truly contemporary edge. The reason for this can largely be attributed to to weekly rents of approximately half what we see in the market today.

Student Room © WCEC Architects

Around three years ago we saw a third generation step forward. The focus now became a high concentration of premium, larger studio-led developments, which influenced the market generally into developing bedrooms that started to align more closely with urban hotels. High-gloss furniture with more mature and/ or natural colours created a sophisticated, premium product. The challenge with this generation is the financial capital required to deliver, resulting in much higher rents. At this time we also saw a sharp increase in amenity space provision. The quality of well-branded operational platforms and the promotion of "residents’ communities" became a driver for students and universities alike. The boundaries between (spaces for) work, sleep, study and social activities began to blur, and this influenced designers’ thinking. The addition of technological demands into the mix also meant that students wanted more mobility and flexibility in their lifestyles. The downside of this generation of student living is that it

For the second generation, coming of age in around 2007, architects sought to modernize the look of interior environments through the tried-and-tested Ikea strategy of white furniture plus some brighter colours or materials. Improvements in the quality, space standards and specifications of so-called ‘bathroom pods’ also began, with the compact all-in-one ‘wet room’ quickly falling out of favour.

Bright corridor and gym in Bristol © Fusion Students


Social spaces are increasingly important © Fusion Students

became incredibly expensive to deliver. It also erred toward being too corporate or brand-led in some instances: it lacked character and personal identity. It has increasingly become clear that what students actually want is a careful blend between aspirational contemporary design, home-like characteristics and a place they can make their own.

More creative design in furniture and multiple uses of spaces could also emerge. The current work of YO! Home1 in creating compact, flexible studios is an excellent benchmark – could the student living room survive moving or mechanical parts? What would be the associated costs – and would Generation Alpha be prepared to pay them?

What’s next? To date, student living design in the UK especially has been predominantly led by the strength and diversity of the markets. However, this dynamic is changing as other countries in Europe and further afield are creating a greater volume of built assets. The smaller scale models we’ve seen in Europe over recent years have been really creative and have showcased a more unique and independent approach in the market.

There’s no doubt that the studio market is diversifying. The premium or high-rent studio segment of the market does have a limited clientele, and supply now is generally strong in most established UK locations. However, compact studios, complimented by really good amenity provision, seem to be providing a good balance of capital investment, space density and rental income returns.

We are now heading towards a fourth, ‘globally minded’ generation of student living, which promises a number of new design propositions. One will probably be a more ‘raw’ urban look, which would be both cost efficient to deliver and also create an aesthetic that is contemporary and aspirational for residents, in alignment with wider architecture and interior trends. A blend of basic materials and finishes, with accents of premium colours and furniture items and lighting, will play a dominant role, too. To satisfy Generation Alpha, student living needs to be a careful blend of home and boutique urban hotel. These physical environments need to be less brand-dominated too. Another concept we will likely see more of is maintaining the premium feel of studios, but with more creative furniture that is flexible – and even changeable – in its usage. Fold-down or sofa-style beds, for example, can create a living space by day and bedroom by night to maximize space. Foldaway kitchens and desks on wheels could offer more personalization and flexibility of space to suit different needs and uses.


Student bedroom in Cardiff © Fusion Students


See http://yo.co.uk/home

One thing's for sure: amenity space is here to stay. Generous residents’ facilities – which include quality environments for living, socializing and studying – are a critically important ingredient for student living now and in the foreseeable future. Operators within the market are desperate to find USPs to create a competitive advantage. The key ingredients – social lounges, study spaces, group study rooms, private dining rooms, media lounges, games areas and gyms – have become standard. Creating spaces and uses that are directly responsive to the needs of students/residents within each building is the new point of focus. Modern methods of construction and modular systems are a strong theme in the architecture of the UK right now, in the residential sector particularly. This is being driven by speed and cost limitations of traditional methods, along with the diminishing skills/labour supply challenge within the sector. It seems logical to conclude, therefore, that modular solutions will filter into student living again soon. Some developers have been here in the past, but the concept fell out of favour.

Interesting approaches by the likes of Urban Splash’s hoUSe2 and YO! Home are just a few examples that are challenging the norm. They find their response within the student housing sector in Austria with Milestone3, in the UK with Fusion Students4 as well as with others. Additionally, systems like the Dutch Hurks concrete system5 offers many benefits, without being as constraining as container-type products. The outside story The architectural appearance of student living has been through a similar evolution as the interior. Early sector developments lacked quality and were imposing in scale, which created a negative public perception of student living, and associated resistance. Planning authorities in the UK have generally driven quality up and most new schemes today are of decent design quality. But while the buildings are undeniably better, this does once again impact on the cost of delivery. The more affordable segment of the sector has been delivered through conversions of offices in the UK, but the supply of wellsituated, ageing office buildings ready for conversion is quickly diminishing. Can private providers deliver an affordable, viable solution? Will governments push for ‘affordable’ provision within all schemes to be provided? Future gazing – technology vs. nature? In less than ten years we’ve seen an explosion in the fields of handheld technology and social media. In early 2006 the iPhone didn’t exist, nor did Twitter; Facebook and LinkedIn were small and relatively unknown. Today, technology and social networks are pioneering how we live and consume in multiple diverse ways. What will the next ten years look like? One thing seems certain: a fast internet connection within student developments almost certainly won’t be enough. Smart technology needs to be considered, and quickly, as the next five-ten years will see further, unprecedented progress.

Student bedroom in Cardiff © Fusion Students

How will the balance between technology and nature influence lifestyle and living environments? We’re seeing new concepts and tech emerging such as ‘the internet of things’, the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and more; Ikea’s smart ‘Table For Living’ proposition; the Amazon Echo voice command device; drones, robots and more. From a healthy living perspective, smart eating from providers like Hello Fresh in the UK will surely gain popularity. This will add further pressure on student developments in receiving and managing deliveries – already an operational challenge for many. In addition, often oversized and underused bike storage facilities will be replaced with serviced bike rental solutions. Student living facilities will need to be responsive to some of these technological developments in order to be sustainable. The student living property sector will likely remain fluid in its evolution. What are the essential needs and demands going to be for Generation Alpha? We need to be considering this now.

Countering the tech revolution, however, is the human reaction: mental health problems, visual over-stimulation from screen usage and a desire to escape the intensity and demands of having so much streaming information in your hand. The so-called ‘re-wild’ effect and balance of nature are rising on the agenda again. Health and wellbeing are affecting building design through workspace and living environments alike. Natural daylight, plant life and healthy eating/fitness are hugely important factors to be considered. See http://www.urbansplash.co.uk/residential/house See http://milestone.net/en/your-apartment/student-flat 4 See http://www.fusionstudents.co.uk/gallery 5 See http://www.hurks.nl/en/building-technology/precast-concrete 2 3

Social area in Bristol © Fusion Students


The cost factor: price as competitive edge in Europe Demand for international higher education continues to grow, but affordability now plays a greater role than ever in the selection of an international destination and university, finds Roelfke Buitink. Recent years have shown a rapid rise in the number of higher education students globally. UNESCO reports a 49% increase from 2005 to 2014, with the total number of students enrolled in tertiary education worldwide now hitting 207.5 million. Unlike the rest of the world, Europe is experiencing a lower growth rate of domestic students due to changing demographics, particularly lower birth rates. However, this is expected to be more than countered by increased international student enrolment. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) forecasts that by 2025 the total number of international students in Europe will rise


International students in Europe Foreign students are increasingly choosing to pursue their higher education in Europe for a number of reasons, including: • Top quality universities; • The dramatic increase of English curricula in mainland Europe (outside the UK and Ireland), where the number of English-taught programmes rose by 300% during 2007-’14. (Source: ACA, 2014); • Universities more actively marketing to international students; • The attractiveness of the culture and lifestyle; • An increase in source country policies and schemes to stimulate outbound student mobility (e.g. Generation Study Abroad by USA, New Colombo and SOSMP by Australia). Stakeholders in many countries are increasingly realizing the importance of having their students enrol in European higher education as this bolsters their countries’ international competitiveness and economic growth over the long term. Moreover, higher education institutions in Europe are actively participating in such efforts, as foreign talent helps to increase their overall academic performance and improve their international profile and reputation. This has led to the active development of student attraction and retention strategies across Europe, driven by an improvement in the quality of education.


Affordability issues Beyond the quality of education provided, most students will have to consider other practical matters when choosing where to study, notably the cost of tuition and accessibility to affordable places to live within a reasonable distance of university facilities and student life ‘hot spots’.


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to 8 million – a substantial statistic, given that Europe already attracts 35% of all international students worldwide (with the UK, Germany and France alone accounting for 20%).

StudentMarketing research commissioned by Bouwfonds IM (February-April 2016) looks at the cost of studying and living in 14 European cities. This research has revealed significant differences across a range of study destinations.

This research is based on the following methodology: • The total monthly cost is based on the average monthly tuition, rent and other living expenses. This h has been broken down into private universities and public universities as well as EU students and non-EU students; • Tuition rates are based on the average undergraduate study programme in the field of Economics and Management; • Average monthly rent is for a single/en-suite/studio/ T1 room; • The cost of other living expenses is based on a selection of consumer goods and services, namely: transportation, food and entertainment; • Currency rate is for March 2016. The differences can be stark: domestic students from Krakow studying for a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management at a public higher education institution in their city can expect a total cost of €515 per month. In London, by comparison, domestic students pursuing the same degree at a public institution have to budget on average €2,968 per month to cover all their expenses (tuition, accommodation and other living costs).

The UK is clearly Europe’s most expensive country for students, with London and Manchester the most expensive of the 14 student cities included in the study. While European students may find Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam expensive, students from outside Europe often find studying in these cities to be more financially feasible than, say, Dublin, as they tend to have lower tuition fees for non-EU students. Cities such as Berlin and Hamburg also provide attractive alternatives for both EU and non-EU students, as public universities in Germany are tuition-free. However, the savings for students go beyond tuition. Even the monthly cost of studying and living for nonEU students enrolled at private institutions in these cities average €1,707 in Berlin and €1,612 in Hamburg, which is less than half of what students would spend at private institutions in London. In France, Spain and Italy there are no differences in the total costs between EU and non-EU students. Nevertheless, there are regional differences within countries. For instance, Paris is one of the most expensive cities in Europe to study, whereas Montpellier is more affordable.

Krakow, an affordable place to study © Wikimedia


Accommodation costs Safe, high-quality accommodation within easy reach of school facilities is important for ensuring a good experience for international students. Many European university cities have a severe shortage of student accommodation which is (a) of good quality, (b) affordable and (c) a relatively short commute from the university and entertainment areas. In many university cities, notably those that feature prominently in international academic rankings, this poses a challenge for students and their parents. In the 25 most popular student cities in Europe, the provision of student housing on average amounts to only 11% of the student population (source: StudentMarketing, 2016). Consequently, many students find themselves renting small rooms in older, uncomfortable and perhaps unsafe buildings. Moreover, many who study in their home country continue to live with their families despite preferring to live independently. The quality and shortage of student housing also contributes to price differences between cities. London remains the most expensive city for students living in student-specific accommodations (i.e. university residence halls), with an average monthly rent of €1,096. The next most expensive cities are Dublin and Manchester. The large stock of high-end accommodation, rising standards of living and providers’ interest in contributing to students’ community life rather than focusing solely on providing a place to sleep creates an opportunity for which parents, and students, are increasingly willing to pay more for. Berlin and Hamburg, with their affordable tuition fees, are also ‘budget destinations’ in terms of accommodation, with average rents of €315 and €281 per month respectively. The low rents are the result of a large number of student accommodations provided by public-sector providers, with private investors still exploring the market and establishing their brands within the country. Students in Krakow, the most affordable destination among the cities in the survey, pay €140 per month on average, with student housing stock primarily provided by institutions (universities and colleges). Additional living costs In terms of additional living costs, Paris tops the list at €745. This is due in large part to higher prices for food and beverages in markets, restaurants and bars.


Copenhagen, which has lower tuition fees and cheaper accommodation, is one of the most expensive cities for additional living costs, at an estimated average of €724 per month. On the other hand, Barcelona and Manchester, which rank high in terms of total studying-and-living costs, are more cost-friendly in terms of the prices of daily items. Of the 14 cities in the study, Barcelona even proved to be the second most affordable city when looking exclusively at consumer goods and services (€528 per month). So, what’s the best option? Prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge will undoubtedly remain attractive, despite their costs. However, as mainland European universities strengthen their international image and appeal – not least by offering ever greater parts of their curricula in English – students will increasingly balance academic rankings with the total cost of their education and start looking at alternatives which offer the best cost-quality benefits across the whole of the continent – from Barcelona to Stockholm, and from Dublin to Krakow. With their relatively more affordable costs of studying and living, particularly compared with their UK counterparts, some lesser-known university towns and cities on the European continent are likely to attract an increasing number of students in the years to come. AVERAGE MONTHLY RENT

Average monthly rent (selected cities) ¤200





¤1,000 ¤1,200

¤1.514 ¤1.514

¤2.061 ¤2.061

¤1.174 ¤1.174

¤1.821 ¤1.821

¤1.294 ¤1.294


PARIS UTRECHT ¤1.707 ¤1.707



HAMBURG ¤584 ¤515


¤2.068 ¤1.397


¤632 ¤608

AMSTERDAM ¤869 ¤869

¤1.612 ¤1.612

¤1.923 ¤1.592

¤2.744 ¤2,744


¤886 ¤886

¤2.231 ¤2.231 ¤1.973 ¤1.510


¤1.383 ¤1.124

¤1.453 ¤1.119

¤2.238 ¤2238


¤2.308 ¤2.308

¤1.438 ¤1.438

¤3.432 ¤2.968

¤3.496 ¤3.136




¤2.557 ¤2.094


¤2.382 ¤1.961

How much Does it cost to study in europe?









Source: StudentMarketing, 2016


Exploring Europe’s models to provide affordable student housing The financial implications of going to university are making headlines in both the US and the UK. Rising study costs around the world are at odds with the notion that higher education should be accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of background. As part of the total cost of a degree, Manu Moritz takes a look at the different ways in which affordable housing is provided to students in Europe. The United Kingdom has long been seen as a leader in higher education both in Europe and around the world. The best and the brightest flock to UK institutions year after year, seeking access to some of the highest quality academics and most cutting-edge facilities and resources available. But the UK is also an expensive place to study. It’s not just high tuition fees; it is also a result of the high cost of living in the country’s university towns and cities. The cost of student housing in London has resulted in rent strikes at some student residences at UCL. Shelly Asquith, Vice President of Welfare at the National Union of Students (NUS) explains: “It’s not unreasonable when the rent in London is more than 100% of the maximum loans and grants available for students.”1 Even outside of London, affordable accommodation remains elusive for many students in the UK, with the average student housing costs nationwide still in excess of 95% of the maximum grants and loans available to students. 2 Richard Kington, Director of Accommodation Services at the University of Edinburgh and CUBO Executive Committee Member, asserts that even while affordability of student housing is a growing issue in the UK, there does not appear to be any focus on the topic at a national level. Instead, most discussions are happening at the university level. Kington describes the limitations to local responses: “The costs of providing


1 2 3

new accommodation do not easily lend themselves to providing ‘affordable’ rents… they need in some way a university subsidy or […else] lower rents are achieved only by increasing those of other students.” The picture in continental Europe The Netherlands is an example of the fine line between affordable and unaffordable from the student’s perspective. In September 2015, the nearly €270 monthly grant that students received if they lived away from their parents’ homes was discontinued, and students’ only option now is to take out loans. As a result, the number of Dutch first-year bachelor students living away from their parents has dropped from 28% to 13% in a single year.3 Yet even with the substantial drop in first year students living away from home, student residences are at capacity. The country has a system of social student housing associations that are part of the wider social housing system. There are no direct subsidies for student housing construction, but social housing associations do benefit from a system of guaranteed loans. Rents are regulated through a points system for both the private and the social sectors. Additionally, students can apply for housing benefits, depending on their income, age, rent and type of accommodation. The benefits are more generous for studios and apartments than for rooms with shared facilities, which explains why developers have developed more such accommodation. Moreover, cooperation between the private and social sector has been an increasingly popular model, with private investors financing and developing student housing while the operations are left to the social sector. Examples include International Campus and Syntrus Achmea, both partnering with DUWO to operate their accommodations. However, the government has blocked these partnerships having deemed it undesirable for privately owned assets to be operated by what are essentially state-backed companies. While the Netherlands may have cut back on student welfare provision, other parts of continental Europe where student welfare remains intact are still faced with housing affordability issues. For instance, Austria has maintained a strong student grant programme and provides social housing throughout the country, but many students still have trouble affording

www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jan/25/london-students-refuse-to-pay-rent-and-demand-40-cut www.nusconnect.org.uk/articles/housing-is-in-crisis-it-s-time-for-rent-strikes www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/09/with-grants-gone-just-13-of-first-year-students-live-away-from-home

UCL Student Rent Strike © Finbarr Fallon (www.finbarrfallon.co.uk)

rents. According to OeAD, the Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research, “The government no longer financially supports building or renovating student dorms. The only subsidies which might be taken are general ones which may apply to every building.” Moreover, while there are discussions of affordable housing in general, “affordable student housing is not on [the government’s] agenda at the moment”. In Germany, Petra Nau, Director of Housing at Deutsches Studentenwerk (Germany’s national student organization) confirms that “affordability is indeed an issue currently and in the future for student housing in Germany. The biggest share of students’ monthly budgets is spent on rent.” Moreover, given their generally lower incomes, Nau stresses the importance of the cheap rents of Studentenwerke-provided housing for first-year and international students. The Studentenwerke also provides students with grants and interest-free loans to help with living expenses – adding a layer of affordability to students housing in the private market. Still, Deutsches Studentenwerk finds that there is a lack of student-specific housing in Germany and is working to ameliorate that situation by “calling on the German government and federal states to fund the creation of 25,000 additional places in new halls of residence” and to renovate and better maintain older residence halls. Like Germany, France has a national student organization, CNOUS, which is run regionally via CROUS, which functions similarly to the Studentenwerke, providing subsidized housing and financial aid for students. CROUS also matches students with French public housing subsidies like the APL, ALS and Loca-pass to help with rent and deposits. Nevertheless, even with all these available 4


resources, affordability is still seen as a major issue for students in several cities across the country given tight real estate markets (most notably in Paris). Currently, CROUS provides 169,000 beds nationally for a student population of approximately 2.5 million (1.6 million of whom live away from home), and given the student housing shortages, is actively looking to expand its housing stock. 4 Alternatives within the private market provide possible solutions, and are supported at national level. With the Leaseback statute (LMNP), which gives long-term tax incentives to private landlords for renting cheaper, furnished apartments, a greater private provision of student-appropriate housing could take some pressure off the market. Unlike the unified national student organization of France and Germany, Italy has a relatively disjointed student aid structure. Each region of Italy has an Ente per il diritto allo studio (Regional Agency for the Right to Education) that is responsible for the distribution of public resources (i.e. housing and/or financial aid) for students within their region. However, each of these regional organizations are funded and function independently of one another, providing different types and levels of services to the students in their region. Thus there is great regional disparity of resources available to students, with the generally wealthier (northern) regions providing more than their poorer (southern) regions. According to Susanna Graziano of Camplus, a network of university residences in Italy, “Affordable student housing – in the sense of publicly owned student residences – does not meet the current need for (affordable) housing in the country.” She continues: “Affordability is also an issue because of


the consolidated and large private rental market which has flourished due to the lack of purpose-built student housing.” As such, a large provision of ‘affordable’ housing for students comes from small, private landlords due to the number of second homes that Italian families have available to rent. Student reliance on private housing has led to a number of issues, most notably when renting the now ubiquitous unregistered residences. There are, Graziano says, discussions regarding “the need for further crackdowns on unregistered contracts and, obviously, the need for more affordable student housing schemes”. However, while there may be some local initiatives to address these, “There are no national incentives for developers of affordable student housing, [although] it is an ongoing issue being debated.” In Sweden, accessibility to housing tends to be the greater issue for students. According to the national Studentbostadsföretagen, there is a clear pattern in which “cheaper dorm rooms often have shorter queues than more expensive student apartments [showing that] it is in most cases not the affordability that is the problem, but finding an available student apartment all together”. There are no public subsidies available for the construction of student housing in Sweden, and strict building regulations push construction costs up. At the same time, rents are regulated – not only within student housing foundations, but also in the private sector – making it a challenge to make the business case work. In response to the student housing shortage, “The [Swedish] government and public authorities are looking for ways to make it cheaper to construct new housing.” Strategies under discussion include: making building regulations more flexible and less complicated, shortening the planning process, improving industrial building and innovation and permitting mixed use with subsidized housing developments. Projects like Stockholm 6000+ and Gothenburg 7000+ are results of the growing sense of urgency to produce student housing faster; these projects bring all the stakeholders around the same table, speeding up the development of student housing.

match the growth in demand, so the private market … is [rapidly] growing.” Subsidies for student housing in Denmark come from the municipalities and from the state, and can amount up to approximately 25% of construction costs, but only if they stay under a government-mandated price per square metre. This is a similar story to what is occurring in Norway, where housing supply is not growing quickly enough in general due to lengthy construction approval processes at the municipal level. Thus, even though the Norwegian government’s funding of student resources has kept pace with the growing student population’s needs, a physical housing supply constraint causes accessibility issues for students.5 When supply fails to meet demand… Throughout Europe, there is a growing imbalance between the supply and demand of housing for students due to growing student populations, tightening realestate markets in many university cities and, in some cases, reduced public subsidies for students. While the definition of ‘affordability’ is subjective and differs between countries and individuals, there is a general consensus that there needs to be greater accessibility to affordable student housing. As with many things in Europe, the strategies to address this issue vary. In the past, many countries relied on the state to provide resources as the primary means to address affordability issues for students. In most countries, public funding for student rents and subsidies is under pressure, and solutions need to be found elsewhere. Generally, this means that the private sector and PPPs will be the ones to pick up the slack. Regardless of the model a country adopts, one thing is clear: more student housing needs to be built.

Manu Moritz is a graduate of the University of Amsterdam and is working as Research Officer at The Class of 2020.

Like Sweden, the primary discussion on student housing in Denmark is focused on the lack thereof rather than high costs. Per Juulsen, Director of Kollegiekontoret in Aarhus, explains that while new subsidized accommodations are being produced by social housing corporations (private developers are excluded from producing subsidized housing in Denmark), “The subsidized supply can only partly




Manu Moritz

Toolkit for Student Housing Affordability Student grants

Guaranteed loans

Non-repayable money provided by the government to subsidise student incomes. Each country provides different amounts of aid and have different qualifying criteria.

Loans for the construction of student housing that are in some way guaranteed by the government, often only available to the non-profit or public sector. Examples: The Netherlands

Examples: Germany, France, Sweden

Student loans Government backed loans provided as a means to subsidise student incomes. Depending on the government providing the loan, there are different stipulations on the interest rate, loan amount, and repayment. Examples: Germany, UK, Netherlands

Housing allowance Government benefits that subsidise students’ rents. These can either be student-specific or general subsidies which students generally qualify for. Examples: Netherlands, Finland

Building subsidies Government support, in the form of direct financial aid or tax incentives, made available to developers and/or providers of student housing. Examples: Denmark

Rent regulation Laws that enforce the maximum allowed rent for all or specific types of residences. Rent control is a common form of a rent regulation. Examples: Netherlands, Germany

Speed up development Policy and/or technology that allows for the more rapid (and cheaper) development of housing. This can include making building regulations more flexible and less complicated, shortening the planning process, improving industrial building and innovation, and permitting mixeduse with subsidized housing developments. Examples: Sweden, Denmark

Tax incentives for landlords Incentives in the form of tax-relief for landlords who make extra small units or rooms available to the market generally or to students specifically. Examples: France, Ireland

Call to join our research

Join Us as we Explore Models of Student Housing Affordability Do you want to learn more about the different approaches to student housing affordability? So do we, but in order for us to do so, we need to continue gathering information and informed perspectives across Europe. If you know about affordable student housing in your country, reach out to us and join our research efforts. Contact us at research@theclassof2020.org.


Housing Officers in the Spotlight How many students do you arrange accommodation for? We accommodate about 800 exchange students each year. For those we cannot offer a room we provide housing advice, and in collaboration with the City and its citizens also access to private rooms. What services do you offer your students? We offer accommodation in student residences, and also pick-up at the airport and train station on our designated arrival days. Welcome Services also arrange an extensive welcome programme; both introduction at the start of each term and activities and workshops throughout the year. What type of agreements do you have with housing providers? The university has a long-term rental and service agreement with the largest local student housing company, which we rent all our rooms for exchange students. What is your biggest challenge? The biggest challenge is without any doubt the shortage of accommodation. What can The Class of 2020 community do to improve your situation? Raise awareness of this important issue – without housing we cannot get the international students to our university and our city. Karin Hellqvist, Head of Welcome Services at University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Patricia Martin

Anjouli Janzon

Anjouli Janzon, Director Study Abroad at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain

How many students do you arrange accommodation for? We arrange accommodation for approximately 60 students and offer support in finding housing for approximately 600 students a year. What services do you offer your students? We offer visa support for students, housing information and assistance, as well as special academic programmes and study advice. What type of agreements do you have with housing providers? We have a special agreement with two housing providers who specialize in on-line platforms that allow students to book rooms in shared flats. We also have a student residence on campus and one in the north of Madrid that are NOT operated by the university but house UAM students. What is your biggest challenge? Our biggest challenge is being able to offer quality housing in the city of Madrid that is close to the commuter train (cercanías) and that is flexible and can meet our students’ needs. What can The Class of 2020 community do to improve your situation? Communicate to student housing providers, or investment groups interested in providing student housing in Madrid that there is still a need for more affordable and flexible high-quality student housing, especially for the international student community.


Karin Hellqvist

How universities engage in partnerships to fight housing shortage Partnerships between universities and housing providers are different from place to place. In this article Emily Rudduck explores partnership approaches in the US and Australia to find out what lessons they hold for Europe. For higher education institutions, the ability to provide housing to students is fundamental to educating them. Yet, as enrolment soars, many are experiencing housing shortages and extensive waiting lists. This is a challenge for universities, especially when it comes to accommodating students from abroad. In Europe, the level of involvement of universities in accommodating their students differs widely, but partnerships between universities and the private housing sector offers benefits to both. An increasingly popular solution to the growing scarcity of beds is public-private partnerships, or P3s. While more and more institutions enter into contracts with private developers, many remain unclear as to where responsibilities lie in such contracts and how their respective roles impact daily routines, residence life and the influence of the institution. Here, experts on both sides lend their insight and wisdom to explain the ways in which they work together. P3s in practice While P3s provide institutions with the capacity to replenish student housing stock without tax liabilities or budget repercussions, it’s often unclear as to how the two sectors collaborate to become a united front for the institution’s student housing programme. Similar to any other unique transaction, each contract will look different from another and is dependent upon the needs of the institution. Rich Payne, Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, explains: “P3s are not just one thing; they are a continuum of things from universitymanaged to totally private, operated and managed and everything in between.” Ultimately, the way in which the

contract is designed will determine the roles of both the institution and the developer. For Northern Arizona University, their partnership takes the form of a land lease. “The developer who developed the project manages the project in total, so students do not have a university contract,” explains Payne. Rather than paying housing fees through student services, students and parents allocate funds through the private developer, much in the same way that they would if they were living off campus. Due to the management role outlined in the contract, “the developer handles all of their landlord-tenant issues”. By contrast, Lynn Ellison, Director of Residence Life at Cleveland State University in Ohio and who is employed by American Campus Communities says, “We manage the facilities, residential education, all employment issues, leasing and university relations. We do everything.” Ellison attributes American Campus’s professionalism and student housing experience as a vital reason why an institution would choose to have an auxiliary residence hall managed by a third party, especially for smaller institutions that are just beginning their student housing journey. “Rather than going through and hiring all of the staff they need to build that infrastructure, it’s easier to partner with a company that does this for a living,” she says. Diverse contractual implementations However, it’s important to bear in mind that various means of development and management have diverse contractual implementations. Ellison notes that American Campus has participated in partnerships that operated under a “turn-key operation, where we have handed the keys over to them and we are done”. By contrast, American Campus has also held contracts in which they managed the facility and/or leasing, but the institution supervised the residence assistants and resident directors, further emphasizing that the amount of involvement from the institution stems from both the relationship with the developer as well as the needs of the institution.


Regardless of the nature of the construction details of the contract, clauses are included to protect both students and the institution. At Northern Arizona, Payne says that, “Contractually, they have a lot of obligations—at least in our ground lease—that include that the developer must adhere to the university code of conduct.” Therefore, while the developer may essentially operate the entire facility, students and staff alike are held to the same standard as the institution-operated residence halls, which “provides some insurance to the university”. Maintaining contractual commitments and clear distinctions of roles is imperative for both the institution’s staff and private developers to fluidly work together and promote the best practices for the overall residence life environment. Maintaining communication and avenues for collaboration on various aspects of student growth and support is at the forefront of American Campus, Northern Arizona University, and also the University of Sydney’s agenda. Forces come together Although Northern Arizona University’s private developer manages the auxiliary residence hall under a landlord-tenant position, Payne says that, “In extreme circumstances, the manager can refer students to the dean of students for extreme behaviour. The dean would adjudicate under the code of conduct.” Extreme circumstances, however, are not the norm, he says. Rather, twice a year, a managerial meeting is convened


that allows both parties to “go over how things are going and issues that have come up”. Despite the private developer providing their own hired staff, residence assistant or community assistant, “If and when they know about issues, they let the university know,” Payne says. To further facilitate commitment to students, Payne says the institution and private developer have “weekly meetings, or what you might call a behavioural intervention team comprised of the police department, student life, dean of students, our office and a manager from the private developer.” During that time, the forces come together to triage the most major events on campus and, as a result, each branch has the information needed to monitor and follow up with students and other staff as needed. Overlap of duties through meetings as well as daily routines can become a common occurrence, especially as institutions and developers learn the ways in which they work best together or decide on additional facilities. Ellison, who is employed through American Campus and not Cleveland State directly, says, “I sit on the student affairs leadership team and participate in campus committees. For us, that works very well. We can operate truly as a department of residence life, the way people traditionally perceive it.” Ashvin Parameswaran, Head of Student Accommodation Services and Student Support Services at the University of Sydney in Australia, routinely collaborates with the developers on a daily basis, especially when the University of Sydney decided to locate accommodation

Northern Arizona University residence © American Campus Communities

Cleveland State University Residence Euclid Commons © American Campus Communities

within the student services division. He says, “The way we do the transition is that the Infrastructure Division manages the construction/development and the Student Services Division manages the operational. In practice, both of these things overlap significantly.” To maintain distinctive roles, they have implemented a Project Control Board and an Operational Board, on which a number of representatives sit. In addition, he explains that he deals “very directly with the construction team” on a weekly basis, and the third-party operator on a daily basis. Articulated framework for student experience Through various roles throughout departments involved in student housing, each management team is going to operate on different levels. However, to maintain campus culture and to maintain a uniform, steady system of leaders, Parameswaran explains that, “We have a wellarticulated framework for Student Experience which is clearly defined and mandated as part of our contractual agreement. The third-party operators have been very supportive and appreciative of this and are more than happy to comply.” Similarly, Ellison states that, “We seek to provide seamless service for the residents so that they never know that they aren’t living at a Cleveland State residence hall. Everything outward facing is branded Cleveland State.” Both Payne and Ellison say that having a private developer does not change campus culture as “students are still involved in the social climate of the institution,”

confirms Ellison. While minor differences may be found within institution-managed and developer-managed facilities, each have a common goal of supporting students. “Whether that is following up with a student with poor midterm grades or a student with depression, we’re very involved in that,” Ellison says. Public-private partnerships are beneficial to institutions for a multitude of reasons and each inspiration for taking on a P3s contract is unique to that institution. As the P3s model continues to grow and mature, institutions have the ability to draw up contracts and foster relationships that are conducive to the needs of the institution and facilities themselves. In doing so, identifying the role of the third party within student housing is crucial to generating an efficient and pleasant workplace as well as to maintaining institution reputations and standards. ACUHO-i This article was edited from its original version that was published in the July-August 2015 issue of Talking Stick magazine. Talking Stick is a bimonthly publication focused on the latest in housing news, innovation, and professional development for the student housing profession. It is published by ACUHO-I, the Association of College and University Housing OfficersInternational. ACUHO-I provides its members with innovative, value-driven events, publications, research, career services, and online professional development as well as valuable networking opportunities. ACUHO-I helps its members evolve themselves and their institutions in their efforts to provide their residents dynamic living environments.


How online behaviour is changing the student sector Pia Detjen explores the growth of online platforms for students and the importance of digital marketing efforts to reach millennial students. In my last year of high school, I received a two-kilo, green catalogue filled with every study programme available in Germany at the time. Programmes ran from African studies, to medicine, to zoology, but the course I eventually chose was not in this book at all. It was on a website for international students in Europe and I ended up studying in Groningen, the Netherlands. Before moving to Groningen, a place I had never been to before, I only knew that I wanted to study in English, which at that time was close to impossible in Germany. All the information that led me to the University of Groningen, I found on the internet. And while German universities published a green catalogue, the Netherlands facilitated my research with a site called studyinholland.nl – understanding the increasing importance of reaching international students online.

Researching and finding the right university and the right place to live is like trying to find a life partner. It needs to be the right fit, as it’s central to shaping a young adult’s future. And just like with finding a life partners, we increasingly let technology show us what’s out there, and help us make the match. Online study platforms Over 90% of students in the UK will have looked at individual university websites as their first source of information in 20131, the rise of online platforms where students find and book their study programmes has been increasing in importance during the last three years. One of the major platforms is Studyportals, with three million visits per months. The site matches prospective students to universities and courses, with separate portals for finding bachelor's, master's and PHD programmes, offering a search engine and a centralised application point for all these individual courses. The company has seen a growth of users by 51% in the last year alone, says Carmen Neghina, Head of Intelligence at Studyportals; and they are continuing to add the new international study programmes in order to have the world's top 2,000 universities listed by the end of 2016.2 The growth of this online platform can be explained by looking at the target group of the millennial generation who has grown up in a technologically filled, increasingly online and socially connected world.3 Millennials spend a large portion of their daily lives online- and expect to be able to gather the information they need effortless and quickly. Understanding this target group is the key to reaching them. Millennials do research and buy products and services across devices. Often research is done via mobile and picked up later via desktop. Social media and peer reviews are an important component in making decisions. Companies that focus on millennials need to understand the importance their online presence has to this target group.



© Derick Anies

Pozniak, H, 2013. Researching universities: how to make the right choice. Study Portals, 2016. Routes to higher education: the global shape of pathway programmes. Rouse, M, 2015. Millennials (Millennial generation).

2 3

© Tatiana Niño

Booking engines for student housing Next to platforms offering overviews of study programmes, booking engines focusing on student housing have increasingly been gaining in popularity. These are closely following the hotel industry and platforms such as Booking.com or TravelBird, by providing different housing brands, prices and offers on one site. The offer of student housing is increasingly being consolidated on these booking platforms, making it easier for students to access the information they need, and creating a platform for landlords to market their product to the international student population. Growing student housing platforms Student housing was one of the best performing sectors during the global economic downturn and with the increase of international student numbers and the need for purpose-built student accommodation, is prospected to keep growing.4 One platform, providing students worldwide online access to accommodation is Lisbon-founded start-up Uniplaces, which recently received $24 million series A funding, led by Atomico. A similar start-up, Student. com announced earlier this year series B and C founding worth of $60 million.

Gerrity, M. 2014. Growing Global Student Population Driving University Housing Development.


While Student.com initially focused on Chinese students moving to the UK, Nathan Goddard, VP Real Estate says that “Europe is the key focus area at the moment”, seeing a huge increase in South East Asian students moving to countries such as Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands. In 2015 Student.com booked $110 million worth of stays and is growing steadily. The importance of digital marketing for student brands With this growth and the increasing competition, it is vital for student housing brands to differentiate themselves and to be easily found online. The importance of a user-friendly online presence, high rankings on search engines as well as an engaging social media presence has been understood by many brands. Marketing efforts such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) and affiliate are tactics that can effectively drive conversion, decreasing the customer acquisition costs compared to traditional advertising. A good and simple user experience should be the first priority when designing a new online presence, with a focus on mobile first. Only worse than a website with too much content and unprofessional photography, is a website that doesn’t work on a mobile device.


“Data is at the heart of all we do in our business.” -Nathan Goddard The same goes for social media where a professional and especially engaging appearance is necessary to generate reach and conversion. User-generated content and a focus on influencers, mixed with short and clear messages is key for social media managers. It is equally important to analyze the social media activities to learn and improve marketing efforts continuously. Marketing efforts at Student.com include partnering with universities' student bodies, which is key in countries such as China. There, the company works together with 600 agents who are mostly working at universities and are brand ambassadors. While word of mouth is the essence of offline marketing, “Data is at the heart of all we do in our business to source and convert students,” says Goddard. Miguel Santo Amaro, co-founder and COO of Uniplaces says that even though it is “vital to have an offline presence, such as participating in student fairs, the reach of digital is much higher”. Looking at the increasing numbers, the importance of being online is even more crucial when talking to

international students. “You cannot be a student brand and not have a good online presence”, Amaro says. The need for analytical and data-driven marketing is now also becoming key for universities who need to spend their recruiting budgets effectively, Neghina states. Studyportals has therefore been starting to offer insights and digital marketing workshops to the marketing staff of universities. The era of the thick green catalogue is over and we can only guess how far the online revolution in the student sector will go. Uniplaces hes seen a growth of website traffic of 60% and booking requests of 172%in the past year. Clear indications that there will not be an end to the growth anytime soon. Yet to fully address and serve the student journey, the industry as a whole still need to develop. Brands and universities alike who want to be part of this growing industry need to understand how to reach the target audience with their interests, needs and behavior in order to create effective marketing efforts that stand out in the increasingly competitive arena of online marketing.

Pia Detjen, Digital Marketing Specialist at Super Positive Experience, Amsterdam based Creative Agency

Sources: wearesocial.com















European student housing market updates

Europe At Golden Sunrise - View From Space Š Romolo Tavani


Institutional- grade investors drive student housing to the highest level

Big capital is locking in long-term returns in exchange for assisting in the broadening and deepening of a modern and professional student housing sector in Europe, argues Cormac Mac Ruairi.


Cormac Mac Ruairi

Pondering the big questions of the day is part and parcel of normal life for higher education institutions. In the UK, a new question has arisen that has implications across all departments : what impact will Brexit have on higher education? For real estate boffins, an additional question that arises relates to the impact on the UK student housing sector, the biggest and most professional market of its kind in Europe. Given that a formal Brexit is still some yet-to-be-determined time away, the last word has not been said on the issue. But it is heartening, nevertheless, to see that one of the first major responses that has come from outside the UK was positive. In late September, GIC, Singapore’s $100 bn (€89 bn) sovereign wealth fund, joined forces with veteran student housing specialist GSA, to acquire a 7,150-bed portfolio in the largest transaction in the UK sector so far this year. The portfolio comprises over 3,600 beds in nine purpose-built properties located in Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Southampton, as well as a pipeline of 3,500 beds in another five cities. GSA – headed by Nicholas Porter who founded Unite in 1994 – will get the developments on stream over the next 2.5 years and operate the assets. While the investment volume for the transaction was not disclosed, the portfolio will be valued at £700 mln (€811 mln) once all beds are operational. Far from being scared off by Brexit, Madeleine Cosgrave, regional head for Europe at GIC Real Estate, said: ‘As a long-term value investor, we believe student accommodation will be a sector that continues to deliver steady rental growth and resilient income returns amidst a challenging, low-yield environment.’ This was GIC’s second major investment in the student housing sector this year. Back in January the sovereign wealth fund joined with Canadian pension giant CPPIB to acquire 18 assets and four developments in the US for €1.4 bn. CPPIB had previously entered the UK market in 2015 by acquiring the Liberty Living platform for £1.4 bn (then €1.5 bn). And more recently heavyweight US-based investor Hines entered the UK with the acquisition of six developments from McLaren Property for £150 mln, with plans to invest up to €500 mln over the next 2-3 years. These sorts of transactions underscore how institutionalgrade capital is moving into student accommodation alongside seasoned operators to both tap into stable and long-term rental income and to reap the higher rewards afforded by developing and expanding portfolios.

Continental Europe remains years behind the UK in terms of market maturity. But that also means favourable yields and rental growth potential. The average rent in the UK can reach as high as €28.75 per m2, while the European average is €19.25. At 3.75%, London yields are tight compared to an average elsewhere in Europe of 6.75%, according to Catella’s Thomas Beyerle. These differences are spurring investors to look at more closely at the Continent. ‘They can see the large student numbers, the positive demographics, the largely obsolete supply, and they can spot great opportunities,’ JLL’s Philip Hillman told a PropertyEU briefing on student housing earlier this year. ‘There is a huge potential, as in Europe we are barely skimming the surface.’ Germany – with rents from €14.30 to €24.75 - is at the epicentre, with International Campus (IC) a rapidly growing player. In September, German life insurer Württembergische Lebensversicherung acquired two The Fizz-branded student accommodation schemes in its home market from the developer and a month earlier IC confirmed it was investing over €200 mln in the acquisition of three assets in central Hamburg. DREF, another specialist developer, is also continuing to expand its portfolio. The Benelux is another growth area. IC’s Dutch business has just opened two properties with over 350 beds each in Amsterdam, while Xior Student Housing, a new Brussels-based REIT, had accumulated 2,280 beds across the Netherlands and Belgium by the end of first half of 2016. Amsterdam-based investment manager Bouwfonds is taking its search broader with plans for a second pan-European student housing fund, with a volume of €400 mln. Even in Ireland, where professional student housing is still practically non-existent, GSA has partnered with US-based Harrison Street Real Estate Capital to invest €250 mln in student housing in the country over five years. They have already acquired a plot in central Dublin for a €60 mln, 500-bed facility that will be the largest in Ireland.

“There is a huge potential, as in Europe we are barely skimming the surface.”


Sweden COUNTRY STATS Student population: 403,900 %International: 4,8%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin China Germany Finland

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

Karolinska Institute Uppsala University Stockholm University

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Thousands of units are in the pipeline for major student cities to meet high demand and tackle long waiting lists. Students drop out due to lack of housing More and more students drop out or decide not to apply for Swedish study programmes because they cannot find affordable accommodation. This results in many parents buying apartments for their children as a better investment than paying the often extremely high rents. However, this leaves those who cannot afford to buy their own flats without many options. Consequently, less well-off students may be excluded from universitylevel education because of high housing costs. Government stimulus for small apartments The Swedish government has approved a scheme making SEK 11.3bn (€1.16bn) available for supporting the construction of small rental units. The scheme is aimed at fighting the shortage of rental housing in bigger cities, including the shortage of student housing. The subsidies vary per location, and the rents for these subsidized units are capped at varying levels dictated by geography. The scheme will be operational until 2019.

AF Bostäder is building 240 apartments in Lund, which will accommodate a total of 330 students, due to be completed by autumn 2018. Other plans include 90 apartments to be built in Högdalens, a district of Stockholm, by Åke Sundvall Projekt AB, and 145 student housing containers in Gothenburg’s harbour, which is a project of Ocean Industries in cooperation with Gothenburg’s student housing providers. 218 units were completed and officially inaugurated in Linköping’s Irrblosset neighbourhood, for the students of the Linköping University. Survey maps out students’ housing preferences The Swedish trade association Studentbostadsföretagen has conducted a study on how students want their housing to be designed. The study shows that over a third, 35%, want to live in some type of shared accommodation, preferably a shared apartment with two or three separate bedrooms. But the most desirable type of accommodation is still the small studio suitable for single occupancy. With these results in mind, architectural firm White has designed three new concepts for student accommodation; one studio, one shared apartment and one bigger apartment with six separate rooms on two levels. Sources for country profile figures 1. Enrolment in tertiary education: UNESCO, Savills, Eurostat, Wissenschaft weltoffen (Germany), DUO (the Netherlands), SSB (Norway), Study in Poland, UKÄ (Sweden), HESA (the UK) 2. Number of international students: UNESCO, Savills, Eurostat, Wissenschaft weltoffen (Germany), Nuffic (the Netherlands), Study in Poland, UKÄ (Sweden), UKCISA 3. International students %: calculated or from Savills 4. Domestic and EU fees: Study in Europe 5. Top countries of origin: UNESCO 6. Student housing provision rate: Savills, REAS, Colliers, 7. Average monthly rent in student accommodation: Savills, Eurostudent

Thousands of housing units in the pipeline After the successful launch of STHLM6000+ and Gothenburg 7000+, Lund has launched Lund 3000+ with the aim to add 3,000 student units by 2027. The projects bring together stakeholders in the studenthousing sector, shortening processes and increasing construction speed. In Stockholm this has already resulted in a record number of student-housing units under construction, set to reach the goal of 6,000 new units by 2017. Some of the projects currently under construction include 234 apartments for 430 students at the KTH Campus in Stockholm, to be ready by the end of 2017.


MultiBo student home concept © White Arkitekter

DENMARK COUNTRY STATS Student population: 301,399 %International: 10%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin Norway Germany Sweden

Top institutions

(Times World Rankings)

Aarhus University University of Copenhagen Technical University of Denmark

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Potential government funding, innovative housing solutions and new players in the market indicate a bright future for student housing in Denmark. Student accommodation flourishing in Copenhagen Student Housing in Copenhagen made a splash this September, with the new Urban Rigger residences designed by Bjarke Ingels. Recognizing that the shortage of student housing in Copenhagen could be resolved by looking for unconventional locations, Urban Rigger founder and CEO Kim Loudrup dreamed up this floating community of student accommodation made from upcycled shipping containers. The residences are highly sustainable, utilizing a number of environmentally sustainable practices including hydro-source heating, solar power and low-energy pumps. Urban Rigger has been such a hit that there have been inquiries from at least 3,000 interested students. These container homes, if replicated, could be a potential solution to student housing shortages in Copenhagen and elsewhere. C.F. Møller Architects design student residence for the University of Southern Denmark The most recent addition to Odense’s University of Southern Denmark’s campus is a complex of three 15-storey towers linked together by a common block.

Floating Urban Rigger student house in Copenhagen © Laurent de Carniere

Architects CF Møller have designed a student residence for the University of Southern Denmark. The 250 single and double rooms have varying views of the surrounding landscape through large windows and balconies meant to make the most of the available light. First Basecamp residence to be developed in Copenhagen With its acquisition of the Sølvgade complex in Copenhagen, CBRE Global Investment Partners has made its first move into the Scandinavian studenthousing market. The recently redeveloped and refurbished former military barracks and DSB office was purchased from EjendomsSelskabet Norden. CBRE GIP has engaged with Triton Development North, which will be the operating partner, managing the residence under the BaseCamp brand. The Sølvgade BaseCamp residence has 375 one-room units and 100 two-room units, of which half are on an eight-year lease with the University of Copenhagen; the operator will lease the other half directly to students. Moves to increase social and student-housing in Copenhagen The left-wing Red-Green Alliance is fighting for funding to support the construction of new social housing in Copenhagen. Morten Kabell, the city’s Technical and Environmental Mayor, states that rising market prices have made it virtually impossible for students, the socially disadvantaged and even some people with regular incomes to find affordable accommodation in the city. He and the Red-Green Alliance are therefore negotiating for 430 million additional Kroner (€58 million) to be invested by the municipality for 1,100 new social housing units, 80 million Kroner (€10.8 million) of which will be put aside to produce 500 new publichousing units for students. Denmark making cuts on university funding The Danish government is making cuts to the eight universities in the country starting with a 180 million Kroner (€24 million) cut this year and an additional 700 million Kroner (€94 million) cut by 2019. These cuts are part of a wider undertaking to reduce national education spending by 2%. To help achieve this target, 2.1 billion Kroner (€282 million) will have been cut by 2017 from the 22 billion Kroner (€2.96 billion) research budget as well. This is a part of the centre-right coalition’s wider effort to improve the efficiency of the public sector. Savings will go to other social areas such as healthcare and care for the elderly.


Finland COUNTRY STATS Student population: 306,080 %International: 7,4%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin Russia China Vietnam

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

University of Helsinki Aalto University University of Oulu

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Financial cuts continue to negatively impact the country’s higher education institutions. Student housing stock increases in Lappeenranta, modern high-rise for Jyväskylä This year, 300 small apartments were built in the city of Lappeenranta, in a popular student area near the University of Technology. The largest of the new developments is LOAS Timppa, with 163 studios in two new buildings of eight and five storeys. LOAS is the student housing foundation in the South Karelia region.

allure of a strong job market may still be a strong enough lure. Finnish universities take another financial hit The funding woes of Finnish higher education will continue under Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s centreright government. While the previous government had already imposed €200 million in funding cuts to the 15 universities and 26 polytechnic institutes in the country, Sipilä has already announced an additional €500 million in cuts along with a €100 million cut in research funding. The new budgetary restraints for the country’s higher education sector are in response to Finland’s weakening economy. Over 5,200 posts have been dropped since 2012 and thousands more are to be cut in the coming years.

LOAS is also developing new student residences in Jyväskylä. The project is due to break ground in spring 2017 with completion slated for fall 2018. The tower, designed by Linja Architects of Helsinki and Oulu, will rise 16 storeys with 110 student apartments on 15 floors, with the top floor reserved for saunas and resident lounges. Finland retains international graduates A recent report from Finland’s Centre for International Mobility found that of a sample of 1,700 international students who graduated from a Finnish university in 2009, 51% were employed in Finland a year later. While the numbers dropped after 2010, 44% of 2009 international graduates were still living and working in Finland in 2015. One of the reasons so many international students remain in the country following graduation is because they are able to do so. Finland allows non-EU students to apply for a one-year visa extension to stay in the country and search for a job after graduating. Finnish universities are reintroducing tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students beginning in August 2017. These fees will likely have an adverse impact on the number of international students from outside the EU and EEA who choose to study at Finnish universities. However, the


LOAS student housing tower in Jyväskylä © Linja Architects

Norway COUNTRY STATS Student population: 266,400

Top countries of origin Sweden China Russia

%International: 3,5%

Average domestic course fee:


Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

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

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Sustainability remains an important focus in the student accommodation sector. Trondheim’s Moholt 50|50 Trondheim’s latest student accommodation is set to become Europe’s largest cross-laminated timber structure. The Moholt student village, designed by MDH Arkitekter SA, accommodates around 2,200 students and the newest addition of five towers will create space for 632 more. The project focuses on the environment and sustainability, with materials chosen to ensure a greatly reduced carbon footprint. Community-focused, it is also intended to be a place where students can feel a sense of belonging, with shared kitchens and large common areas. Also included is a kindergarten for students with children, to help them find the time to study and prepare for exams. The project is slated for completion in December 2016, after which the construction of an oncampus library will begin.

More student housing units built from sustainable wood Tromsø’s newest student accommodation consists of two ten-storey blocks, with 225 rooms in total, which are divided into studios and two-bedroom apartments. The buildings have a breath-taking view of a fjord and woods. The next stage of construction is already underway and, next fall, 230 new housing units will be completed. Additionally, Norwegian company SiO (Student Life in Oslo) has plans to build 330 housing units in Oslo’s Kringsjå neighbourhood. It will consist of two towers, ranging from eight to ten floors, and will be made of wood due to environmental considerations as well as shorter construction time, similar to the concept behind Trondheim’s Moholt. Government funding for student accommodation It has been decided that, as a part of the government’s 2016 budget, 2,200 new student-housing units will be built in Norway. This includes 416 student homes in Oslo and Akershus. However, it is still not enough to provide accommodation to all the students who need it. On average, only 975 units are built each year, while approximately 3,000 are needed – and 4,000 would be ideal. Balder enters the Norwegian market Swedish property firm Balder has acquired a student housing scheme in Norway, worth approximately €76m. The property contains the Hedmark University College and its acquisition by the Swedish company is their first step into the Norwegian market. Norway wins student satisfaction award Norway has claimed the top spot in this year’s international student satisfaction awards from StudyPortals, scoring 9.26 out of 10. The main strengths listed by students were the wide range of courses available in English, helpful staff and students and effective teaching methods. Moreover, Norway is the only Nordic country that is increasing the spending on education, as opposed to its Scandinavian neighbours. In 2016, the budget of the Research Council of Norway increased to NOK 9.3 billion (approximately €1 billion), which constitutes a 10% growth compared to the previous year.

Moholt 50|50 © MDH Arkitekter


UNITED KINGDOM COUNTRY STATS Student population: 2,266,075 %International: 19,3%

Top countries of origin China India Nigeria

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

University of Oxford University of Cambridge Imperial College London

Maximum domestic course fee: Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate




Sources: see page 50

The UK’s vote to leave the EU has set the country up for an extended period of uncertainty. Despite this, student housing investments still are going strong. But rent strikes and student protests are having an effect on the market. Investment volumes below 2015 levels, but still strong After 2015’s record year for student housing investment, 2016 is on track for another strong year with increasing institutional investment pouring into the sector. According to JLL the expected volume of investment will reach £3.5 in 2016, down from £5.7bn in 2015, but still more than double the 2014 level. UCL Rent Strikes to Spread across the UK Rent Strikes at UCL this past academic year have resulted in one million pounds worth of concessions from the school to students in the form of need-based grants and rent freezes. As many as 1,000 students withheld rent for university provided dormitories in the face of rapidly increasing housing costs which students see as exceedingly expensive. To build on the success of the UCL rent strikes, a weekend of rent strike workshops (called Rent Strike Weekender) was held September 16-18, and future rent strikes have been planned at 25 campuses across the country. In the Wake of Brexit: Uncertainty in the Early Aftermath With PM Theresa May having committed to beginning the formal Brexit negotiation process by the end of March 2017, the UK is slated to be out of the European Union by the middle of 2019. The consequences that this departure from the EU will have for the UK, the rest of Europe, and the world are yet to be known and has left a thick cloud of uncertainty in its wake. Due in part


Urbanest's new student tower in Vauxhall © Urbanest

Student housing investmentVolumes volume Q1+Q2 YTD 2016 2016 Transaction

the real income from fees for a university, having a mediocre or lower score will result in a stagnation or cut in the allowed maximum tuition.

£5.7bn Completed Under Offer Projected Source: JLL

The goal of this bill is to allow universities to maintain their income from tuitions while at the same time incentivising higher quality teaching. Arguments against the bill are that it perpetuates a trend of marketisation of education and that it may lead to incentives that do not actually improve teaching quality.

£3.5bn £2.7bn

£1.5bn £2.0bn



£1.0bn £1.5bn 2011





GIC Private Limited and GSA Purchase Portfolio of Thousands of UK Student Units Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Dubaibased Global Student Accommodation have recently purchased a portfolio of U.K. student housing projects from Oaktree Capital Management LP for £700 million, about £270 million above Property Week’s expectations. This portfolio includes nine purpose-built student accommodation buildings with space for 3,634 students and five developments that will add more than 3,516 additional beds once completed. GSA also acquired The Student Housing Company from Threesixty Developments and plans to use this brand under which the student accommodations will be operated.


to the unknown fate awaiting the UK, one of the most immediate effects of the Brexit referendum was a drop in the value of the British Pound. This has resulted in up to a 20% savings for international students at UK schools, helping attract and retain international talent, at least in the short-run. However, there was also an immediate negative effect on the international ranking of many UK universities due to uncertainty regarding the future of research funding and immigration rules. The impact that Brexit will have on other aspects of studying in the UK, such as the provision of new student housing, are yet to be seen. Albeit, the initial shock to the post-Brexit UK real estate market has subsided as confidence returns to the market. Moreover, the PBSA market proved to be relatively resilient in the UK following the global financial crisis as a consistent undersupply of PBSA fuels rental growth.

Urbanest and Student Cribs Poised for Expansion In a move to expand, Urbanest has refinanced their property portfolio using a £350 million loan from M&G Investments and Aviva Investors Real Estate Finance, replacing three previous loans. This fixed-rate long-term loan, secured against Urbanest’s 2,520-bed portfolio in London, shows confidence, on both the part of the New Higher Education Bill investors and Urbanest, regarding prospects for student A new higher education bill affecting tuition fees was housing in London. Urbanest has plans to expand passed this year. The bill allows universities to increase their portfolio to 5,000 beds in the next five years, tuition at a rate matching inflation, allowing them to even following the shock of the Brexit referendum. In charge above the current £9,000 tuition cap instituted a similar bid to expand, Student Crib has raised £200 as a part of the Liberal-Democrats compromise with the million to more than double their current portfolio of Tories in 2010. However, in order to qualify for newly 180 properties in 12 cities in the next four years. The allowed tuition increases, schools will have to score well The(TEF). bestWhile UK universityexpansion cities towould invest in in 500 new homes with an result on the “teaching excellence framework” additional 3,500 bedrooms for students. scoring well will allow for tuition increases that maintain The best UK university cities to invest in

Source: Property Wire











































Ireland COUNTRY STATS Student population: 220,000 %International: 6%

Averave domestic course fee:

€2,750 - 6,000

Top countries of origin UK China Malaysia

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

National University of Ireland, Galway Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland University College Dublin

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Student housing market is booming, but undersupply remains. The student-housing emergency continues With an unprecedented demand for student housing, the Irish government and universities are scrambling to deal with an emergency situation as students entered school this fall. While there is an abundance of three- and fourbedroom semi-detached homes in the private sector, there is a distinct lack of smaller units more suitable for students. High demand and low supply have driven rental prices up, and this has been compounded by increased residence costs on campus and competition in the market for smaller housing stock from empty nesters and retirees looking to downsize.

The problem could be resolved in the long term if the government focuses on building more apartments as part of its new housing plan. One short-term response has been to give tax incentives to homeowners: up to €12,000 of rental income can go untaxed for housing a student in a room of primary residence. The Dublin student-housing boom With 5,755 beds in the pipeline, student housing development in Dublin is booming. These accommodations are at various stages of development, with 4,406 beds having been approved and 2,245 having already started construction. This student housing development boom will go a long way to help the city cope with a national student housing shortage that is most acute in the capital. Additionally, it is estimated that an additional 7,500 student-specific bed spaces are at various pre-planning and design stages. Many of the new student residences are being developed on brownfield sites: areas that have been left vacant and derelict for several years, and are seen as a means to revitalize these areas. New Dublin Docklands site planned to accommodate 935 students A 2.38-acre site on the Dublin Docklands next to Point Village was purchased by a new consortium of UK and Irish developers and has planning permission for 935 student bed spaces. The development, called Point Campus, was purchased for €20 million, with the consortium outbidding six other interested parties and the plot selling for €2 million above the guide price. Point Campus will comprise two seven-storey buildings, one with 589 beds and the other with 346. In alignment with recent trends, the development has a mixed-use component: on the ground floor there will be 866 square metres of retail space for shops, cafés and restaurants. There will also be 462 square metres put aside as ‘enterprise and community’ space. GSA plans second Dublin property GSA (Global Student Accommodation) has joined forces with Carrowmore Property to provide almost 500 student flats on the former IDA site in the north inner city. The company is to invest €60 million to develop the seven-storey buildings, which will be within easy walking distance of Trinity College and the Dublin Institute of Technology. The students will be even closer to the stops on the proposed Luas cross-city service.


Point Campus in Dublin © Point Campus

Eslin Cohen, Leiden, The Netherlands Š Henny Boogert, Images Connect


The Netherlands when accommodating visiting international students who get guaranteed housing from their universities and are the primary users of these so-called short-stay contracts. With the new law coming into effect, students may choose to move out during the academic year, creating a vacancy risk that neither the university nor the housing provider is willing to undertake.

COUNTRY STATS Student population: 702,183

Top institutions

Top countries of origin Germany China Belgium

%International: 10,7%

Average domestic course fee:


(Times World Rankings)

Delft University of Technology University of Amsterdam Wageningen University and Research Center Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Scrapped grants: more students stay at home Just 13% of this year’s intake of first-year students live away from home, says student-housing body Kences. Two years ago, 28% of new students lived in student housing.

The Dutch student housing market is diversifying with more investment in the sector. Regulation turbulence Residential legislation in The Netherlands is changing, with two aspects of new legislations keeping the studenthousing community especially busy. In December 2015 minister Blok banned social housing associations from operating residences owned by private investors. This model had become popular in recent years with investors like Syntrus Achmea and International Campus partnering with DUWO, the country’s leading non-profit operator, to operate their assets. The minister was concerned about shifting private risk into the semipublic sector and unfair competition. The legislation is now under review, with the possibility of being overturned.

Almost half the stay-at-home students say the government’s decision to scrap the basic grant is behind their decision to stay with their parents. Students used to get a grant of almost €270 if they lived away from home, but that was stopped last year. “This is bad news for student involvement in their subject and in university life,” Kences Director Ardin Mourik said. “In addition, students are important for the development of city economies. This may also be damaged.”

The Class partners are expanding The other hot issue is a change in temporary rental • Student Experience has started construction on contract law. Although the maximum term of temporary Nautique Living, a new residence in Amsterdam North, contracts would be increased from one to two years, the and entered into a JV with Rinkelberg Capital with a tenant would be able to end the contract at any time goal to add 5,000 units to its portfolio in the coming during the contract period. This is especially a concern years Deliveries PBSAs 2015-2018 Number of added and planned student housing units 8.000 7.000 6.000 5.000 4.000 3.000 2.000









































1.000 0

2015 Source: Savills


Rental level per city 100% 80% 60% 40%

Source: Savills


¤350 - ¤450

• The Student Hotel opened its latest location in Groningen in August, while projects in Eindhoven and Maastricht are underway. • Crosslane Dutch Development has committed investment into a secured and growing development pipeline, targeting to build a portfolio of 2,500 beds within five years. The company sold a development site in Delft to Camelot for an undisclosed sum. • Greystar acquired a development in Amsterdam Holendrecht with plans to create 1,500 units for students and young professionals. In Rotterdam, Greystar is working on plans for a 600-unit building in the heart of the city. • IC Netherlands opened two student-housing buildings in Amsterdam, with 364 apartments at the Zeeburgereiland property and 380 at the NDSM, and plans to complete three more residences in Amsterdam by mid-2017. Xior grows Dutch portfolio Belgian REIT Xior has expanded its student housing activities in the Netherlands. In September it acquired a 95-unit building in Eindhoven, and closed on a deal to buy the Carré building in Maastricht with 143 units. The company announced the acquisition of two buildings in Delft with a total of 226 units, and additional buildings in The Hague, Breda and Rotterdam. “These projects fit our ‘multi-country – multi-city approach, and our goals to expand our portfolio in existing and new student cities,” said Christian Teunissen, Xior CEO.

¤250 - ¤350























Wageningen 440 studios were unveiled as part of the Campus Plaza project, also including retail spaces and a day-care facility. In the centre of Leiden, 216 units were completed in three-, four- and five-cluster flats with shared facilities. The residences in Amsterdam were built in partnership with IC Netherlands who developed the projects for DUWO to operate them. Students and refugees living together in Startblok Riekerhaven On the West side of Amsterdam a new temporary student housing block has emerged, with 565 units – half of them for students, the other half for refugees. The project’s aim is ‘building a future together’, and is an initiative of The City of Amsterdam, together with De Key housing association and Socius foundation. Residents are encouraged to organize initiatives that help bring different groups together, and refugees are assigned a Dutch buddy to help them find their way into Dutch society.

DUWO opens new residences in Wageningen, Leiden and Amsterdam For the start of the new academic year, the Netherlands’ largest student housing provider DUWO opened residences in Wageningen, Leiden and Amsterdam. In Nautique Living in Amsterdam North © OeverZaaijer



Smiley student living in Amsterdam Zeeburg Š International Campus

Belgium COUNTRY STATS Student population: 495,910 %International: 11,2%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin France The Netherlands Luxembourg

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

KU Leuven Ghent University Université Catholique de Louvain

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Private accommodation providers are flourishing, and universities are pioneering urban regeneration for residences. Xior hits IPO target of €88 million In December 2015, Belgian student-housing company REIT Xior hit its target of €88 million from an oversubscribed IPO, and is now listed on the Brussels stock exchange. Some 3.4 million new shares and 140,000 existing shares were priced at €25 each, generating a total of €87.8 million. Currently (October 2016) the stock stands at €33.60. “The successful closing of the offer marks a further major milestone in Xior’s development,” said CEO Christian Teunissen. “It indicates strong confidence in and support for our future plans and strategy.” Xior has been growing its portfolio of student housing assets through acquisition and development projects, especially focused on the Belgian and the Dutch market.

University turns barracks into accommodation for international students Former state police barracks near the Etterbeek railway station and the VUB campus are soon to be transformed into a student residence. To welcome international students to the Free Universities of Brussels, two universities are building a state-of-the-art campus dedicated to international students eager to study in Brussels. “With 90,000 students at universities and schools of advanced education, Brussels is the biggest student city in Belgium, but until now we haven’t been doing enough to promote the city as a destination for international students,” says the VUB’s Paul De Knop. Within six years the new accommodation should be complete. Several buildings that are of architectural value will be retained, while others will be renovated and refurbished to create 800 new student rooms, especially for international students. The ambition is to create a site that is open to the city and the world. “By law we can only offer English language programmes if the same programme is already on offer in Dutch here or elsewhere. We’re launching a new social sciences programme together with Ghent University. The Dutch version is available in Ghent, the English one here. Our courses in the English language are still pretty limited. There’s an MA in engineering, communication sciences too, but we would like to offer more.”

Upkot opens new residences in Brussels and Ghent Belgian developer Upgrade Estate continues its expansion with two new residences opening at the beginning of the academic year: Mia Upkot in Ghent and BRU Upkot in Brussels. The property in Ghent is home to 120 students, while BRU Upkot has 216 rooms. Both new properties have a combination of studios and cluster flats. Rents start at €350 for a room with shared facilities in Ghent and €415 in Brussels. The company is planning additional projects in Brussels and Ghent – Jet Upkot, with 143 units in Brussels and Timi Upkot in Ghent with 144 units.

Campus Schoonmeersen student residence Ghent © Xior



still remains the most expensive city for students. A furnished 30m2 flat, located relatively close to the university, costs around €615.

COUNTRY STATS Student population: 2,698,910 %International: 12%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin China Russia Austria

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

LMU Munich Heidelberg University Technical University of Munich

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

International student numbers increase, as does international student-housing investment. Increasing international student population The number of international students in Germany is now 321,569, which constitutes a 7% increase compared to the previous year, and internationals currently make up 12% of the total student body. The majority of the growth comes from an increased enrolment in postgraduate programmes. The number of foreign master’s students grew by 15% from 2014 to 2015. This popularity may be attributable to the large number of courses taught in English – currently 984 – as opposed to a limited range of bachelor’s programmes available in English (just 192). Low tuition costs and relatively affordable housing are attractive factors for many international students, in addition to good job opportunities for graduates. GIC and GSA invest €110m in German student housing GSA, global student accommodation specialists, and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, announced a partnership to invest €110m in student housing in Germany. They are planning a portfolio of a total of 10,000 beds in the country. The initial investment includes the acquisition of the Headquarter portfolio with properties in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Munster and Dresden, and 1,500 beds are already in the pipeline. Future developments will target major German university cities, such as Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Munich. Rapidly rising student accommodation prices Student homes in the most popular German cities are becoming increasingly expensive. Compared to six years ago, rents in Berlin have risen by 37%, by 25% in Munich and 21% in Stuttgart. Currently, the average monthly rent in Berlin is €407, compared to €333 six years ago. However, Munich


DREF expands its portfolio in Germany The Deutsche Real Estate Funds (DREF) has acquired student residences in Germany worth €85m, and has plans to continue its expansion. The next cities being targeted are Berlin, Bremen, Kiel, Stuttgart, Bochum and Essen, as DREF prepares for a substantial amount of new projects. Among other investments is a €60m acquisition of a residential complex in Munich, with 215 student beds and 130 units for young professionals. The rents are between €450 and €500, making it medium-priced and affordable for most students, especially considering Munich’s notoriously high rental prices. Berlinovo builds micro-apartments in Berlin To meet the high demand for affordable student housing, Berlinovo plans to build a total of 2,500 modular microapartments in Berlin by 2020. Each studio will be 16m2 with its own kitchenette and bathroom, and should be available for €315 monthly. The first 129 units are already under construction, due to be completed in time for the 2017/’18 academic year. The modular concept calls for less construction work than traditional buildings and the useful life of such apartments is about 40 years or more. Cresco builds almost 700 homes for Berlin students Cresco Capital Group is currently working on an €83-million project of 697 student apartments located on Brunnenstrasse in Berlin, near the Mauerpark. The development includes a café and a restaurant as well as a 500m2 supermarket on the ground. The entire project is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2017. The Student Hotel launches first German project in Berlin Adding to its 12-strong portfolio of properties, The Student Hotel will open its first German location in the heart of global youth capital Berlin in partnership with the European Student Housing Fund. The 17,000-square metre space is located on Alexanderstraße, in the immediate vicinity of the iconic Alexanderplatz, an area known as the Alexanderquartier. The project will be developed and operated in a joint venture with Triton Development GmbH, the investment adviser to the European Student Housing Fund. The Student Hotel

Berlin will bring 456 new rooms to serve the thriving international student and tourist community. MPC Capital opens first Staytoo residences, builds portfolio MPC Capital has opened its first two residences in Bonn and Nuremberg, operated under the Staytoo brand. Projects in Kaiserslautern, Leipzig and two locations in Berlin are underway. With the acquisition of six projects of the STAYTOO platform, funds of the Special AIF* ‘MPC Student Housing Venture I’ have been almost fully invested, commented Rainer Nonnengässer, Head of Micro Living at MPC Capital. “With room for another one or two projects, our first institutional micro-living fund will then have fully invested its capital in the development of micro-apartments,” Nonnengässer stated. 2











Source: Cologne Institute for Economic Research

Staytoo Berlin © Staytoo Apartments


international, while at local colleges the number is around 17%.

AUSTRIA COUNTRY STATS Student population: 421,224 %International: 15,5%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin Germany Italy Turkey

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

University of Vienna Vienna University of Technology Universität Innsbruck

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



The largest number of international students comes from Germany, for whom there is no language barrier to study in Austria. Moreover, many degrees which do not yet exist at universities in their home country are often offered in Vienna, such as theater, film and media studies. German students also appreciate the quality of life and the country’s atmosphere.

Sources: see page 50

Student housing market on the rise. The Austrian student housing market is booming, with investors beginning to see the potential in student accommodation developments. Consequently, investment demand has risen significantly in the past three years. Corestate Capital has opened a 589-bedroom student home in Vienna, and the S + B Group, together with the Investa Property Group, has plans to build 700 micro apartments in Praterstern, which will be Austria’s biggest student housing complex. New student residences in Vienna by Pegasus and Stonehill Pegasus Capital Partners and Stonehill Holdings are developing a student housing building with 633 rooms in Vienna’s 20th District. The residence will cover more than 26,000m² over seven floors, and will include extensive communal facilities in addition to standard common rooms. Construction began in January this year, and the project is slated for completion in time for the 2017/’18 academic year. It will be operated by CRM.

oead4refugees The OeAD launched a new initiative to inform refugees about their study options at Austrian universities. Many young people have been deprived of their chance to attend schools and higher education institutions and the OeAD aims to support those who wish to start or continue their education in Austria. The platform provides all the most important information, such as what education background or language level are required, but also gives ideas about places where refugees can get help with improving their command of the local language to be able to enroll in their chosen university courses. Currently there are 35 refugees studying at the University of Vienna and the number continues to increase. The University is planning to offer German lessons to help the refugees become more easily integrated and feel like they are part of the society as well as the higher education sector.

Milestone continues to expand its student housing portfolio Milestone will open its second Vienna location with 350 student apartments near the Vienna University of Economics, as well as 156 units in Leoben, for students at the eponymous university, due to be completed by October 2017. The rise of international students in Austria A total of 99,600 foreigners were studying at Austrian universities in the academic year 2015/’16, comprising over 27% of the total student population. This number is steadily increasing, compared to 26% in the previous year. The highest percentage of international students is at private universities, amounting to more than 39% of all students. At public universities over 28% are


© Milestone

Š Milestone


both at 100% occupancy, hosting 150 and 100 students respectively. This is an auspicious start for Realista Résidences, which has plans to open over 700 housing units in the next two years.


Two new student accommodations by Realista Résidences Realista Résidences announces two student residences in Lille and Rennes. Starting 1 September, they are


AverageRank monthlyCity rent per Average city

Monthly Rent









Severe housing shortages means opportunity for the private sector At the beginning of September, hundreds of students hoping to get into some of the last Crous housing spots in Paris lined up as early as 4am on the steps of Paris city hall. Most were turned away, no key in hand. Situations like this are bound to increase as the student population in France is expected to increase from 2.5 million today to 2.8 million by 2024. In 2013, the Crous set a goal to add 40,000 student beds to its current housing stock by 2017. It seems unlikely that will be accomplished – and even if it were, the student housing shortage would still not be fully resolved. In response, the private sector, which is more sensitive to market demands, is already making moves into student housing, with some private providers including many services not found in Crous housing (such as gyms and housekeeping).

This tower will also be an addition to the Rose de Cherbourg development, which has the goal of changing the austere image of La Défense by adding to the vibrancy of the area through mixed-use development and an iconic hanging park and walkway over the current motorway interchange. EPADESA’s CEO Hugues Parant has said: “The Gecina residence will reinforce the modern, dynamic message that EPADESA wants to put in place for La Défense.”


SerendiCity project the largest student housing development in France Linkcity is developing the largest student housing project in France. Called SerendiCity, this new student residence will provide 1,082 beds in 900 apartments in the Parisian suburb of Gif-sur-Yvette, and is due to be completed by September 2017. There will be 564 studios of 18sqm, 308 two- and three-person units and 210 studios in ten-unit clusters around a shared common area. SerendiCity will comprise five round structures that will have ground floors with floor-to-ceiling glass walls to create a feeling of openness between the buildings and the large surrounding park.


Institutional student housing investment increasing.




€263 Sources: see page 50


Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate

Gecina to build a 402-unit student accommodation in La Défense Gecina has signed a transfer agreement with EPADESA, the state development organization for La Défense, allowing them to develop a new 20-plus storey tower of student housing with 402 beds in Puteaux La Défense, Paris. CEO of Gecina, Philippe Depoux, stated that with this development: “Gecina is confirming its presence in Paris La Défense.” Due to be completed by the academic year of 2018, this Ateliers Jean Nouvel-designed residence will have a number of amenities including a lounge, cafeteria, laundry facilities and fitness room. This development will aim for a high environmental standard of NF HQE Habitat (Excellent) and BREEAM (Very Good) certification.


École Normale Supérieure École Polytechnique Pierre and Marie Curie University


(Times World Rankings)



Top institutions


Average domestic course fee:

Top countries of origin China Morocco Algeria


%International: 12%


Student population: 2,500,000

Source: locservice.fr

“the student population in France is expected to increase from 2.5 million today to 2.8 million by 2024”

Swiss Life expands its French student-housing portfolio After acquiring two French student residences this year for €15.5 million, Swiss Life has moved closer to achieving the fund’s objective target size of €120 million in student housing in France. One of the new student residences has 115 units in Mont Saint Aignan near Rouen and is on the Panorama campus, next to other schools like The Neoma Business School. The second Top 5 rent increases and decrises Top 5 rent increases and decreases 4,7% 3,45%
















-1,79% -1,65%

Swiss Life is also considering the possibility of diversification in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. OpenClassrooms to expand services to Spain and the UK After securing a recent €6 million in funding, OpenClassrooms is expanding beyond France to Spain and the UK. This online platform provides free coding and digital courses focused on skill-based learning. With 2 million users a month already, OpenClassrooms expects that, with the extra investor support, it will have trained 20 million people by 2020.
















2,39% 2,38%

of the residences has 156 units and is located near the centre of Amiens, close to the ESC Amiens Business School and the College of Medicine. Both of these properties will be delivered in June 2017 and operational in time for the 2017-’18 academic year.

-5,23% -6,95% Source: locservice.fr

New La Défense student residence © Gecina


portugal COUNTRY STATS Student population: 350,000 %International: 4%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin Brazil Angola Cabo Verde

Top institutions

(Times World Rankings)

University of Aveiro University of Coimbra University of Lisbon

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Startups and international students are increasingly flocking to Lisbon, investors set to follow.

Government proposes increase in highereducation scholarships The proposed Grandes Opções do Plano (GOP) includes improving resources available to disadvantaged students in higher education. The proposition includes an increase in the value of scholarships for higher education and the number of students eligible for this support. The 2016-’19 GOP clearly states an intention to better meet the needs of disadvantaged students in different levels of education, arguing for a restructuring and de-bureaucratisation of the system to make higher education more inclusive. There are also plans to increase the autonomy of higher education institutions to improve the quality of education and increase employability of graduates.

International students drawn to Lisbon Even as the overall number of international students in Portugal decreases, the number in Lisbon continues to grow. Accounting for 12.5% of the student population, there are now 13,819 foreign students in the city. About a third of these are in exchange programmes, of which about 91% are there on Erasmus. This rise in the number of internationals is a possible consequence of the project Study in Lisbon, created in 2014 by the Lisbon City Council in partnership with local universities and businesses. To achieve its mandate, Study in Lisbon has worked to increase the attractiveness of the city to the international community, including extending the introduction programme from a day to a week that now includes walking, biking and boat tours, surf lessons and gastronomy classes. New asset tax may scare the construction industry A new tax on high-value real estate assets is set to be introduced in Portugal in 2017 with some the finer details still to be worked out. Current debate is focused on the asset exemption limit, with the Socialist party ideally wanting a €500,000 base limit and the BE party (Left Bloc) arguing for a €1,000,000 base. The government expects this new tax to boost revenues by €100 to €200 million, but representatives of the construction and real-estate sector warn that the negative impact on investment in Portugal may be much higher than this, especially among foreign investors. This new asset tax will replace the current stamp duty which taxes individually held real estate asset valued over €1,000,000.


Coimbra University Residence 1 Campus II © University of Coimbra, João Armando Ribeiro



COUNTRY STATS Student population: 1,500,000 %International: 4%

Average domestic course fee:

€713-2011, credit-based

Top countries of origin Colombia China Peru

COUNTRY STATS Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

Autonomous University of Barcelona Pompeu Fabra University University of Barcelona

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate


Student population: 1,700,000 %International: 4%

Average domestic course fee:



Sources: see page 50

Foreign students drive student housing demand. Spanish student housing market attractive to investors Savills has found that the current stock of university accommodations in Spain may only be able to satisfy 56% of potential demand, especially with the growing demand from foreign students. As such, a number of investors and developers have been showing interest in the Spanish student housing market. Of international developers, Threesixty Developments (which was recently acquired by Dubai-based student accommodation provider GSA) still remains the most active student housing firm in Spain. It opened two residences this summer in Madrid, the 186-bed Claraval in June and the 358-bed El Faro in August. Threesixty Developments also has a number of projects in the pipeline including a 469-bed project in Alcala near Madrid and the 518-bed Campus Sud in Barcelona. Growing student housing revenue According to the Sectorial Observatory DBK, revenue from student residences in Spain reached €430 million last year, 1.2% more than in 2014. At the end of 2015, there were 1,114 college and university residences accounting for 90,076 beds. 20% of these residences are privately owned and operated with the other 80% owned and operated by public (i.e. universities) or religious institutions.

Top countries of origin Albania China Romania

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna University of Bologna

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

New residences for an emerging student accommodation market. Former military hospital becomes spectacular student residence After a long process of planning and construction, the former military hospital in Trieste has opened as a spectacular student residence: Residenze Terzo Millenno Living. The 163 rooms with 239 beds are spread over six floors, each with high ceilings that bear witness to the grandeur of the building’s previous use. The residence is operated by Florence-based Soges srl, and monthly rates start at €390 for single room, and €555 for a double. Camplus opens new residence in Palermo Just 600 metres from the university, in the heart of the old city, Camplus has opened its tenth residence. As with other Camplus accommodations, it is a full-service concept, with furnished rooms (single or double) and community spaces such as study rooms, library, a gym, music rooms and more. The rent includes cleaning, linen, breakfast and dinner. The residence also offers courses and training, parallel to the university courses, and organizes events to build community among residents. The Student Hotel goes to Bologna The Student Hotel’s Italian expansion continues. In addition to The Student Hotel Florence, opening in 2017, the company has unveiled designs and plans for a second Italian property, located in the Quartiere Navile district of Bologna. Opening in summer 2018, The Student Hotel Bologna will be redesigned and fully refurbished, mirroring the successful concept established in the Netherlands. Contemporary architecture will frame the hotel and students’ rooms and studios, with a library, study areas, meeting and conference rooms, an incubator for startups, a games room, gym and bicycle fleet.

A social space in the new Claraval residence in Madrid © Threesixty Developments


Poland COUNTRY STATS Student population: 1,405,133 %International: 4,1%

Average domestic course fee:

€0, unless when students have to repeat a year

Top countries of origin Ukraine Belarus Norway

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

University of Warsaw Warsaw University of Technology AGH University of Science and Technology Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate


number of (Polish) university students to those with the very best academic scores in order to preserve high education standards. A decrease in domestic students probably means an increased focus on international ones – as demonstrated by plans to establish a National Agency for Academic Cooperation (Narodowa Agencja Współpracy Akademickiej) to improve international relations with higher education institutions in other countries and promote Polish universities abroad.


Sources: see page 50

Domestic student numbers may be dropping, but their international counterparts are driving investment in the student housing market. Despite a decrease in the general student population in Poland, an increase in the number of foreign students has increased internationalization of the Polish higher education sector. This year there are 10,000 more foreign students than last year, but with Poland’s student population numbering around 1.5 million, the percentage of international students remains low at just 4.1%. To counter this, Polish universities continue to promote their international courses and the high quality of education at Polish institutions abroad. Changes in Polish higher education Significant changes are in store for the Polish education system, to be implemented in the academic year 2017/’18. The Minister of Education intends to limit the

The growing private student housing market While most Polish students live in privately rented rooms and apartments, with the growing number of foreign students, housing providers have begun to take an interest in developing more purpose-built student accommodation. Among the pioneers is Griffin Real Estate, which has opened private student residences in Poznań, Łódź and Lublin, totalling 1,200 rooms focused mostly on international students and the higher standards of accommodation they demand. But while many Griffin apartments have a higher rental price than the local market, the developer does also offer cheaper, more affordable rooms. And demand remains high: the group aims to have 7,000-8,000 student rooms in major university cities across Poland, such as Warsaw, Cracow, Wrocław, Katowice and Gdańsk, within the next three years, operated under the Student Depot brand. Hot on the heels of Griffin Real Estate, more and more investors are noticing the opportunities the Polish student housing market offers. Triton Academicus is currently developing 500 mini apartments for students – marketed as a ‘student hotel’ – in Łódź, slated for completion in August 2017. Perhaps reflecting increasing numbers of international students, the plans include a large gym, café, library, grocery store and other useful facilities. Increase in the total number of foreign students

Increase the total number of foregin students in Poland in in 2000-2016 in Poland in 2000-2016 57.119 BEGINNING OF THE STUDY IN POLAND PROGRAM

21.474 10.092


6 15 /1 20

10 /1 1 20

6 5/ 0 0 20


0 0/ 0 1


Source: Study in Poland Salsa student residence in Łódz © Student Depot



COUNTRY STATS Student population: 329,455 %International: 7,1%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin Germany Slovakia Romania

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

Central European University Semmelweis University Budapest University of Technology and Economics Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate


Student population: 418,624 %International: 10%

Average domestic course fee:


Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

Charles University in Prague Brno University of Technology University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Top countries of origin Slovakia Russia Ukraine


Sources: see page 50

With a national dormitory strategy, the Hungarian government commits resources to student housing.

Investors in the Czech Republic are beginning to see the opportunities of investing in student housing developments.

National dormitory development strategy The number of full-time university students in Budapest is currently 144,639 and there are 283,471 students nationwide. Those students are accommodated in 213 dormitories, which currently provide 41,033 beds. That results in 14.4% saturation. Student houses in Budapest and in the main cities are overcrowded, in contrast to the majority of houses in the country.

Student housing development picks up pace More and more students in the Czech Republic want to live in privately rented apartments – primarily because accommodation capacity at Czech universities does not meet student demand. However, rents in the private sector are rising – by 19% in Prague and 13% in Ostrava year on year. This is where the country’s first student housing developments enter the picture. Just as it is a very popular investment strategy in Western Europe, investors in the Czech Republic are also beginning to see the potential. The newly built Belgian Apartments project in Prague – featuring 122 beds within 25 modern apartments in a refurbished townhouse in Vinohrady and owned by Fibis Europe – bears testimony, and more developers have plans to explore the student housing rental market in the country.

The Hungarian government is working on a new dormitory development strategy. Its main objective is to improve comfort and service, reducing the number of students per room and bathroom, as well as focusing on energy savings and sustainability. The government is ready to spend between €100 and €200 million on the new strategy, and has connected it to Budapest’s 2024 Olympic bid. Private student houses MILESTONE Budapest I. offers 418 beds, 1,000sqm retail and other amenities. The development is under construction and will open its doors in September 2017. The building will be the first privately-owned, large-scale scheme in Budapest. The developer is the Hungarian Forestay Development with the Austria ValueOne Holding Company. A second project is the Di Verdi Residence Student Dormitories. The building complex is licensed as a hotel but opened as a dormitory. The first wing was completed in September 2016 with another wing – containing a four-star hotel with 92 rooms and a new dormitory wing with 117 rooms – to be delivered in 2017. The investor and builder of the dormitories and hotel is the Palermo Real Estate Development Ltd.

Belgian Apartments' in Vinohrady © Fibis Europe


TURKEY COUNTRY STATS Student population: 5,472,521 %International: 1%

Average domestic course fee:


Top countries of origin Azerbaijan Turkmenistan Germany

Top institutions (Times World Rankings)

Koç University Sabancı University Bilkent University

Average montly rent in National student housing student accommodation: provision rate



Sources: see page 50

Recent political events have made Turkey’s future as a higher education destination uncertain as international students and investors remain cautious. What a turbulent year could mean for Turkish student housing Turkey has faced a number of issues that have challenged the country’s rise as a higher education destination. These issues include the refugee crisis, terrorist attacts, but most notably the coup attempt followed by a state of emergency. Following the unsuccessful coup attempt, there have been dismissals of faculty and staff at universities across the country who are seen as having been involved in coup activities. The Council of Higher Education has said that it is only


a precautionary measure and that most of these staff members will be reinstated following an investigation. Moreover, as many as 15 of the nation’s universities (and 1,043 private schools) were ordered to close due to suspected links to the Gülen movement. “All of this is expected to have both short and long term impacts on the country’s university system, including a decline in student mobility”, said Paul Levin, the director of Stockholm University’s Institute for Turkish Studies. The real estate business suffered a significant decline following these events. Our sources in Turkey have noted that despite this, the student housing bed capacity has grown by over 4,000 beds in 2016, and supply is still far from covering demand. As of March 2016, there were 74,000 dormitory beds for Istanbul’s 778,000 higher education students. Astra Yapi opens 1,500 bed student residence in Kozlu, Zonguldak In September 2016, Turkish student housing construction and management firm Astra Yapi opened a new student residence in Kozlu, Zonguldak along the Black Sea coast. Operating under Astra’s Üniyurt brand, this residence can host 1,500 students and offers a wide array of amenities including reception service, large communal areas, 24/7 security, free shuttles to and from the Bülent Ecevit University campus, and housekeeping. With this development, Astra’s goal was to produce a place that is more than just where students sleep. Astra now has residences in Zonguldak, Izmir, Sakarya, and Afyon.

Studio Santral, Istanbul © Studio Santral

Shady Zenaldin, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Š Henny Boogert, Images Connect


Talent on the run Supporting the housing needs of refugee students was one of the topics on the agenda at The Class Conference 2015 in Amsterdam. In the twelve months since, The Class of 2020 have closely followed initiatives that address this topic. The refugee situation is complex, and solutions for accommodation are as diverse as other policies in Europe. In this article we highlight some of the solutions that we found in different European countries. Refugee students: the scope Many of the people fleeing the war zones of Syria, Afghanistan and East Africa, are young and educated. But it is hard to tell exactly how many of the refugees arriving in Europe are in fact students. One survey in March 2015 among Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek islands found that 14% of the respondents over 18 years of age indicated that being a student was their main form of occupation in Syria. Some statistics: • 2015: over 1 million refugees arrived via the Mediterranean and claimed asylum in the EU • 2015: over 330.000 asylum applications have been approved • 2015: 50% of approved asylum applications were Syrians • Students as % of refugees: 14% (according to a survey among Syrian refugees in Greece, March 2015) How Europe has accommodated refugee students: Four examples EAIE spotlight seminar on refugees The European Association for International Educationn (EAIE) has organised seminars, webinars and trainings about how to integrate refugees into higher education. With the support of the EAIE, its members have been able to share experience and best-practices to give refugees the best opportunities to continue their studies after arriving in their new host countries. The University of Barcelona This was one of the first universities to welcome refugees and non-status holders to enter free of charge. As a result, asylum seekers were rapidly integrated into the higher education system even while the asylum


application process is still on-going. Once enrolled in the university, they can apply for student housing on campus or downtown with up to thirty studios reserved specifically for them. This project is financed by the university and the municipality of Barcelona. Xavier Lopez, President of the Foundation Solidarity at UB, is proud of his initiative that has already welcomed more than sixty-four students. Lopez believes that each newcomer should benefit from “a personalized approach” and that these refugee students will add a new dimension to the student body, benefitting the university. Riekerhaven Startblok, Amsterdam This is a student residence in which young “statusholders” are welcomed to cohabitate with young Dutch locals. “Young” in this case is 18-28. People wishing to join need to demonstrate interest and motivation to join and contribute to the project. Fleur Eymann is a tenant and part of the residence management team. She is enthusiastic about her new home and said that “we do not think we are different groups anymore: we are a community.” Tenants work together to manage the residence and organise “living groups” that share common areas and host events together. Take home point: this is a successful example of give and take from both Dutch locals and refugees/asylum seekers The Crous, Paris The CROUS have taken the lead as one of the student housing providers that has repurposed residences to better accommodate refugees. Since October 2015 dozens of refugees have been welcomed on campus and have access to medical services, French courses, administrative support, etc. This program is run working with the Chancellerie des Universités de Paris and the Préfecture de Région. Given its success, this program is being extended to other French regions and may be able to help on average 500 refugees per year.

Photographer Ahmet Polet shows how refugees find their way in The Netherlands in the exhibition ‘Weer toekomst!’ (a future re-established!). Together with the foundation for refugee students UAF he documents their stories about this exciting word ‘future’. Stories about fear and ambition, about waiting and expectations, about dreams and nightmares.

Nosrat gives an architecture tour in Amsterdam © Ahmet Polat

Husein in the asylum seekers residence in Almere © Ahmet Polat

Siham and her AirBnB host in Bussum © Ahmet Polat


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JOIN 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 contact us at info@theclassof2020.org

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