2017 The Class Trend Report

Page 1

Edition 2018

Annual Trend Report

The Global Student:

Building Bridges over Growing Barriers Shaping Urban Serendipity Teens & Tech The Residential Life Model

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Table of contents 44 home sweet home


HIghlights of 2017


The Global student


universities, cities & talent


Building bridges over growing barriers

what we can learn from a computer game

48 The Paradox of Private PBSA and the Affordability of Student Housing market updates

10 Sharing urban serendipity






19 kpi's: what students want 23 ARCH & DESIGN

What do we see as the future of student housing?

27 The Residential Life Model making it real

32 Campus trends

the global picture

37 breaking new ground 39 DISTANCE LEARNING


41 THE impact of digital technology on the search for student housing

61 STUDENT HOUSING PREFERENCES 64 Modern student living from Germany to Portugal, and onto Spain! 66 EDUCATION NEWS 68 INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MOBILITY 70 INNOVATIONS IN STUDENT HOUSING 71 LEGAL & POLITICAL CHANGES 73 Portugal regional outlook 76 The Nido Collection

Colofon A production of The Class of 2020 foundation Chief Editor: Jorick Beijer Text & editing: Manu Moritz Research: Andreas Chrysanthou Design: Super Positive Experience (www.spx-agency.com) Front Cover illustration: Chiara Vercesi Back cover & iconography: Christian Pappalardo Printing: Elco Print, Amsterdam More information: www.theclassof2020.org Mimagephotography

Highlights of 2017 We ended 2016 strong with both our largest ever and first annual conference outside Amsterdam, hosted in Vienna. With the energy of this success in Austria, we rolled out our most contentrich year to date. Regional Sessions Building on our first regional events in 2016, The Class of 2020 hosted seven regional sessions across Europe in 2017. We engaged with investors, developers, operators of student housing, higher education institutions, and city leadership in Dublin, Stockholm, Frankfur t, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris, and Madrid. These events were not only informative on student housing markets but also brought together the dif ferent communities needed to address trends in living, learning and working for new generations of young talent.

The Conference Conference 2016, Maarten Schutz

Other Events We have been busy hosting at other events as well. We ran a residence life workshop in Amsterdam in May, bringing together residence life experts from North America, the UK and Europe to discuss student needs, from community building to combatting loneliness and addressing mental health. We also co-hosted The Student Housing Investment Briefing at MIPIM – Cannes along with our partner JLL, providing insights on European student housing to the greater real estate community. Likewise, this past September, we hosted a stand along with six of our partners at EAIE in Seville to bring student housing to the attention of the higher education communities of Europe. The Team As a team, we have had some departures and exciting arrivals. We have welcomed Jorick Beijer as the new Foundation Manager for The Class of 2020, and we expect to see continued team growth in the coming year as The Class of 2020 expands its reach around Europe, engaging with new topics and stakeholders.


The Conference Conference 2016, Maarten Schutz

Mission As we approach “graduation” in 2020, The Class of 2020 has found itself at an interesting crossroad. We will always remain true to our student housing origins and will continue to work to improve student living across Europe; however, we also believe that our work with the students of today does not end when they receive their diploma. Thus, we have expanded our vision to look at the lives of recent graduates and young professionals as well, including now in our work topics like: co-living, co-working, innovation districts, talent attraction and retention, and city-university cooperation. Research As our mission encompasses new topics, so has our research programme. In order to keep up, the research team has seen growth in the past year, both in terms of personnel and expertise. The Class of 2020 looks forward to continuing in its role as a thought-leader with a slew of new research, both qualitative and quantitative, on older topics like describing and understanding European student housing markets to newer ones like innovation hubs, city-university cooperation and online education.

Other ac tivities You might have seen us around Europe at other events as well, including: • Property Week – London • CUBO – University of Kent • LD event – London • HousErasmus+ – Brussels • EXPO REAL – Munich Regional sessions in 2018 London, United Kingdom

MIPIM, Cannes, France

Hamburg, Germany

Florence, Italy

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Barcelona, Spain

EAIE, Geneva, Switzerland EXPO REAL, Munich, Germany

Ireland Regional Session, Dublin

March 8 th

March 13-15 th

April 12 th

May 17 th

June 6 th

July 3 rd

September 11-14 th October 8-10 th


The Global Student EDITORIAL

Building bridges over growing barriers

This year is in large part defined by the changing political landscape we see unfolding around us. Where globalisation was once hailed as the next great economic step, there is now growing criticism of the more broadly open borders and flows of people that come with it. Conservative, closed-border rhetoric has defined elections in Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands and has resulted in Brexit and Trump’s victory. However, the sentiment sweeping across Europe for tighter borders and stymied flows of people stands in stark contrast to the desires and actions of a next generation determined to pursue broader, international experiences. The Class of 2020 has made it its mission to focus on this paradoxical juxtaposition, discussing how an increasingly globally ‘footloose’ student population will navigate this emergent conser vative landscape. Moreover, we are fixed in an understanding of the shifting values of Generation Z, with desires for expanded horizons and diverse experiences supplanting the traditional expectations of staying local and putting down roots. The Brexit referendum and Trump have already affected where students are looking to study abroad for school with international applications down at 39% of American universities and EU-applicants to the UK having already fallen 7%. At the same time, the year-over-year growth in international student numbers in the Netherlands are up by over 8% and up 6% in Germany (to


Traveler in Asia, Chalabala

340.000, just below the 350.000 target for 2020). So, the declines in the US and UK are bringing with it oppor tunities for other countries’ universities and cities to attract more international students and the economic and social benefits that they bring. We have witnessed an increased effor t from some places to attract these international students, using methods like: extending stay-back visas, offering fast-track citizenship processes for graduates, and increasing the number of English-language programmes available. Can Europe position itself to become the preferred destination of this generation’s education nomads in a changing world? Regardless of what closed rhetoric is espoused, Europe is well situated to lead the way and act as a beacon for young talent worldwide. However, the extent to which that happens is up to all of us. We need to place a greater focus on developing new par tnerships that accurately reflect changing relationships between stakeholders in order to leverage the oppor tunities of a burgeoning young, talented, internationally-oriented generation. We need to be more aware of and responsive to changing life goals and work preferences

and the impacts these have on the ecosystems we should be building as the next generations of learners, creators, leaders, and visionaries seek more integrated, compact communities offering myriad lifestyle oppor tunities. Likewise, for universities, there is a strong desire to reposition, to work with the changes around us. Already, we see universities actively reimagining and redefining par ts of the landscapes around themselves to act as ‘urban campuses’. The urban campus, assembling both physical environments and online communities, where students can experiment and learn to contribute to new societal wants and needs.

Jorick Beijer & Frank Uffen

Foundation Manager

Co-founder The Class of 2020

As the leading think-tank focused on student living in Europe, we are committed to an invigorating exploration of this year's theme. We are equally committed to ensuring that we continue to stay true to our roots, ensuring a more international, innovative and transparent market for the provision of student housing in Europe. In line with The Class of 2020's mission to bring together the relevant thought-leaders from the worlds of higher education, cities, and student living, we invite you to work with us to share and build on your exper tise, to help build the bridges the students of today and tomorrow need to thrive.

PadrĂŁo dos Descobrimentos, 25 de Abril bridge, Wikimedia Commons


Universities, cities & talent

what we can learn from a computer game How can city planners demonstrate their skills in attracting and retaining talent, internationalizing local education and designing an eco-friendly environment through virtual reality? James Ransom, policy researcher at Universities UK, explains what city planners could learn from a computer game. In 1989, a small company called Maxis released a game called SimCity. The game launched a franchise that is still going strong today, promoting players to the post of virtual mayor in a virtual city hall. SimCity allowed players to grapple with the same issues facing city planners today: how to balance economic growth and environmental sustainability, how to design an effective public transport system, and how to strike deals with other cities.

Island, where a 15 year old freelancer for the local newspaper invited five mayoral candidates to compete against each other in a game of SimCity. One candidate didn't take the test too seriously. She ‘built more police stations in Providence than probably exist in all of Southeastern New England, swapped out the electric power plant for a nuclear one, and bulldozed the church’. In a strongly-Catholic area, some felt this lost her the primary. Some fare better. Koebler writes how in 2002 mayoral candidates in Warsaw, Poland played SimCity 3000. Lech Kaczynski won the competition, won the election, and eventually became the president of Poland. Modern simulators have become increasingly sophisticated. One city planner has said that SimCity 4’s traffic simulator is ‘actually more advanced than what most traffic engineers use in real life’. The game has also been used to model suburban sprawl.

Crucially, the game also required the player to attract and retain skilled people. If you built a university you helped to create the engineers and the teachers and the doctors to help the city grow. But if the housing was poor quality or expensive, our digital citizens moved to a rival city. If our pixelated residents were forced to live in vast, crime-ridden estates with no culture or amenities, they didn’t stick around, and the city stagnated. SimCity is, of course, just a simulator. But the issues it raises are serious, and affect the prosperity of cities. Some cities have used simulators as tests of competence for leadership roles. In a great article about the real mayors of SimCity, Jason Koebler tells the story of the 1990 Democratic primary election in Providence, Rhode


ETH Zürich, Wikimedia Commons

Universities and the city building game In my own work I have explored how universities have worked to tackle the issues faced by city planners (real or virtual). University staff and city officials work closely in many cities to ensure culture reaches the suburbs, and to design affordable housing and good transport links. University research centres provide insight on how to tackle urban sprawl, and advise on whether or not substituting the electric power plant for a nuclear one is really a good idea. In a recent British Council report I explore how cities and universities work together on international activity, looking at Amsterdam, Dublin, Glasgow and Hannover. Effective collaboration is tailored to a deep understanding of place, positioning and partnerships. It is long-term, deliberate and part of a wider vision of the future of the city. The internationalisation plans of each city would make a good roadmap for budding SimCity mayors. There are areas of shared interest – branding, housing, transport, attracting and retaining skilled individuals – where working together brings significant benefits for universities and cities. But there are also less obvious areas – joint efforts to welcome new students, ensuring the benefits of internationalisation reach marginalised communities – where joint working can bring equal benefit. And in forthcoming work I am looking at how universities and cities can work together to tackle societal challenges, learning from activity in Toronto, Canada. Here, too, partners recognise that the challenges faced by universities are often challenges of the city itself, and working together to tackle these is essential. In late August all four Toronto universities jointly launched StudentDwellTO, connecting nearly 100 faculty, researchers, students and partners to explore potential solutions for addressing student housing affordability challenges.

SimCity, EA Maxis

The future of attrac ting talent Collaboration on concrete initiatives between universities and cities will lead to certain cities pulling ahead of the pack. Underpinning this collaboration will be a shared understanding that there is no trade-off between international engagement and local place-building. To attract and retain the very brightest means developing a strong brand, but backing it up with excellent infrastructure and a commitment to culture, safety and environmental sustainability. It means proactively tackling inequality and other societal challenges. It means crafting a pathway for the student arriving from afar from the first year of a degree to hiring their first employee. It means gently facilitating the meeting of minds and sharing of ideas that is the hallmark of all successful cities. This is a lot for cities to bear alone. In SimCity the occasional alien spacecraft would land and destroy an entire business district. Whilst this is (hopefully) unlikely, the cities of the future will increasingly shoulder responsibility for tackling international issues, from climate change to terrorism. Universities will support cities in these efforts.


Developing strategies for attracting talent may seem like a distant priority compared to these challenges. But effective internationalisation, designed with local communities in mind, should reduce rather than increase inequality. Skilled people working on difficult challenges amongst likeminded people gives cities the best chance of tackling climate change. Behind the scenes will sit a strong relationship between City Hall and the local universities. There’s one final lesson we might draw from city simulators. Josh Dzieza writes in The Daily Beast that ‘Education in SimCity is a sort of wonder drug: if you build a university, people get sick less, commit less crime, build solar panels on their roofs, get wealthier, and are generally better off. They also start to complain more about bad city services and pollution, so depending on what sort of Sim mayor you are it could have drawbacks’. If we didn’t already know it, SimCity confirms the important role universities play in cities.

James is a Policy Researcher at Universities UK, and a PhD candidate at UCL Institute of Education. He blogs at jcransom.com


James Ransom, UniversitiesUK

TU Graz, Austria


Shaping urban serendipity CITIES AND INNOVATION

Cities and innovation have a long history. Whereas in the industrial era’s cities where basically configured around factories, the contemporary digital society has diverse uses of space and time. All across the world abandoned industrial districts quickly transform into buzzing innovation hubs. Strong examples exist in cities like London, Berlin and Boston, but also the South of Europe has great success stories of urban regeneration that facilitates serendipitous encounters and so, urban innovation, say Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel and Jorick Beijer. Innovation and urban area development Urban area (re)development and innovation have been used to embrace social change and drive economic growth in many cities worldwide. This has resulted from the co-evolution of socioeconomic and technological developments in industrialised countries adopting the knowledge-based economy. The decay of large industrial complexes that became obsolete with technological advancements during the 20th century had urban consequences affecting the economy and quality of life of entire neighbourhoods as many factories closed. Some of these complexes were demolished and targeted of urban renewal projects, while others remained vacant and abandoned. Many of these complexes and their neighbouring districts have been brought back to life precisely to accommodate the new economic activities and new types of companies that emerged from digitalisation such us start-ups. 1


Industrial complexes have particular spatial features that are considered to facilitate the development of innovation ecosystems. They have a modular structure in practical configurations, high ceilings and large windows, providing ample open spaces with possibilities to be reconfigured for new uses. Flexible infrastructures have been recognised in recent research as catalyst for innovation. 1 Herein, the concept of flexible facilities is illustrated with functional buildings, facilitating the accommodation of multiple activities and users over the years in well-known innovation hubs such as the MIT campus and the High-Tech Campus Eindhoven. Indeed, having diversity of people and functions in close proximity is acknowledged as crucial for innovation. 2 Accordingly, innovation is regarded as a process driven by the exchange of ideas, which is accelerated as people with complementary intellectual backgrounds encounter, collide and interact. These three serendipitous steps can lead to potential collaboration or just sharing information that can be valuable in idea creation. These notions are influencing urban development and corporate accommodation since both, cities and companies rely on innovation to remain competitive. Public and private parties are investing resources to develop attractive places to catch and retain young talent. 3 The rise of the ‘innovation districts’ as means of urban competitiveness and prosperity legitimised the city as natural environment for innovation. 4 Accordingly, former industrial districts are one of the three models identified in this study. The so-called ‘re-imagined urban areas’ model is located along or near historic waterfronts where industrial or warehouse districts are undergoing a physical and economic transformation, which is in turn powered by transit access, heritage buildings, and their proximity to downtowns.

Curvelo Magdaniel, F. T. J. (2016). Technology campuses and cities. A study on the relation between innovation and the built environment at the urban area level. (PhD Doctoral thesis), Delft University of Technology, Delft. Jacobs, J. (1969). The Economy of Cities. New York: Vintage Books. 3 Curvelo Magdaniel, F. T. J. (2017a). Campuses, Cities and Innovation. 39 international cases accommodating tech-based research. (A. C. Den Heijer, M. Arkesteijn & H. De Jonge Eds.). Delft: TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Management in the Built Environment. 2

Station F, Patrick Tourneboeuf

Matching the preferences of knowledge workers has become an important aspect in the planning and design of urban development projects. However, this has also led to growing inequality and segregation in cities. 5 Innovation-driven urban developments are dealing with challenge of social inclusion since they can easily become areas of concentrated advantage leading to gentrification. 6 Similarly, the existing research documenting innovation and cities is mainly concentrated in the U.S. as well as Western- and Northern Europe. This article explores the transformation of four former industrial areas into innovation hubs in the South of Europe. Station F in Paris Rive Gauche Paris Rive Gauche, an urban renewal area in the 13th arrondissement of Paris is housing the world’s biggest digital startups campus. The 34.000 m2 complex was known as Halle Freyssinet, a former railway goods yard built in 1927 and used by the state railway company SNCF. This building, with unique architectural features (58 meters wide and 310 meters long) and listed as a Historical Monument in 2012, was acquired a French entrepreneur and businessman, who envisioned this place as an inspiring environment to support innovation and young entrepreneurs. The transformation of the building began in October 2004 by the French firm Wilmotte & Associés Architectes including

renovations and the restoration of delicate architectural features. Station F, as it is called now, opened in June 2017 and has already 2500 residents from 50 different countries. This €200 million project is a private-public venture aimed to create over 4000 jobs. The city is investing €70 million in the surrounding area including housing, shops and public space. Today, Station F offers office space, meeting rooms, an auditorium, a shop, and kitchens. A large restaurant will open soon to enrich the 24/7 open area, which is expected to house 600 residents in 100 shared apartments. Paris River Gauche is considered the largest urban planning operation carried out in the capital since the 19th century Haussmann works. The once industrial area covering 130 hectares is being transformed into a transit-oriented, dense and mixed used neighbourhood, beginning with the relocation of the University Paris-Diderot to this area and the redevelopment of the Massena District designed by the renowned urbanist Christian de Portzamparc. By 2025, the city expects about 20.000 residents and 60.000 employees living and working in this compact area. This area is served by metro and regional trains. The nearby Gare d'Austerlitz is a major transport hub in Paris where all modes of transport converge. Today, this station handles about 30 million passengers a year and it is expected to have 44 million by 2025.


Katz, B., & Wagner, J. (2014). The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America Metropolitan Policy Program. Washington: Brookings. Florida, R. (2017). The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It. Hachette UK. 6 Curvelo Magdaniel, F. T. J. (2017b). Innovation, innovation, innovation: a new urban strategy mantra and the usual challenge of social inclusion. April, 2017 5


Milano, Talent Garden

Calabiana Hub in Milano Calabiana Hub is an 8.500m2 complex for digital and fashion firms located in an up-and-coming area southeast of Milan. This area, only five stops from the Duomo Cathedral, has been regarded as one of the liveliest districts of Milan. Calabiana was a former industrial state used as a printing house transformed in 2015 to accommodate a large space for events (800 people capacity) and co-working space for freelancers, start-ups, agencies and digital companies (400 workstations). The latter is a project funded by Talent Garden (TAG), a European network of shared workspaces to support and stimulate innovation in young firms. TAG invested €1 million in Calabiana offering office space, labs, training rooms and relaxing areas such as a café and a terrace with a swimming pool. Carlo Ratti Associati developed the renovation and interior design project, which emphasizes collaborative design and technology aimed to foster entrepreneurial interaction and growth. Today, TAG Milano Calabiana accommodates 68 companies and startups, 4 agencies, 6 freelancers and 3 mentors in what is considered an inspiring and attractive campus. Calabiana is one of more than 50 coworking spaces in Milan. There are more co-working spaces in this former industrial neighbourhood including ‘Smart City Lab’, a new business incubator started by the Municipality of Milan, the Ministry of Economic Development and Invitalia (National Agency for Investment Promotion


7 8 9

and Enterprise Development). This project involves the renewal of an area originally occupied by the Pirelli factories and it is part of Milan’s Smart City strategy. The increasing attention to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation by public and private parties has positioned Milan as Italy’s largest start-up hub next to Turin, Bologna, Naples and Rome. By 2016, there were over 750 active start-ups in the city, which together with large corporations in the area, leading universities such as the Politecnico di Milano, many public-private investors, network platforms and dozens of events, position Milan as a vibrant innovation hotspot. LX Factory, Lisbon The former “Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos Lisbonense” (Company of Wiring and Textiles) opened in 1846 and was considered one of the most important manufactory complexes in Lisbon’s early industrialization. 7 After the clothing industry collapsed in the 1990’s, this 23.000m2 industrial site suffered from vacancy, until it was bought by property developer MainSide. Initially with the main idea to temporally do place branding, awaiting a residential zoning scheme by the City Council. In September 2017 MainSide sold LX Factory to the French group Keys Asset Management, which announced to renovate and enlarge the old industrial complex in order to answer an increased demand, with respect to the historic character. Today this creative min-city under the Ponte 25 Abril bridge brings together a wide range of ateliers, trendy (popup) restaurants, design boutiques and hostel The Dorm. Located in the heart of Alcântara, just between Lisbon and Belem, LX Factory is easily reached by tram, bus or train. Quickly LX Factory became a popular hotspot for tourists, but as Lisbon by many is perceived as the California of Europe, unsurprisingly LX Factory is also home to a quickly growing community of freelance designers, entrepreneurial nomads and start-ups.

Xie, P. F. (2015). Industrial Heritage Tourism. Bristol: Channel View Publications. Florida, R., Adler, P., & Mellander, C. (2016). The city as innovation machine. Regional Studies, 1-11. Feldman, M. P., Kogler, D. F. (2010) “Stylized Facts in the Geography of Innovation”, Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, 1, 381–410.

A key player is Cowork Lisboa, when opening in 2010 one of Lisbon’s very first co-working facilities and still the biggest one. Just around the corner of LX we also find the globally operating Impact Hub, offering not only workspaces but a managed community and various programmes tailored to young entrepreneurs. Efforts that fit very well into the bigger picture of Startup Lisbon, Lisbon’s incubator that was founded in 2011 by the Lisbon Municipality, Montepio Bank and IAPMEI, the Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation. Startup Lisboa is an incubator that supports the creation of companies and their first years of activity, by providing office spaces, coaching and access to venture capital. But moreover, the brand Startup Lisboa, with its strong marketing campaign, can be seen as the glue of Lisbon’s innovation ecosystem. Cities of cross-overs Urban innovation breeds well in former industrial sites, which are large and flexible facilities and allow to be intervened easily to offer attractive designs and (subsidised) rents. Density, proximity and physical space for interactions are essential for the very existence of cross-overs. 8 Herein, it seems evident that cities are indeed the places for next generations of young talent, albeit being digital natives and considered footloose. Research shows that innovative activities are much more spatially concentrated compared to manufacturing activities. 9

This also implicates that co-working spaces, incubators and other facilities as shown in the cases above have a vastly different usage of space, compared to the former industrial floorplans. Such a diversity thrives these redevelopment schemes to be more diverse. Multifunctional programs that offer new kinds of living (e.g. micro-apartments, sports facilities and cultural amenities) are key in creating local ecosystems that have the power to catalyse urban regeneration on a neighbourhood level. So ‘shaping urban serendipity’, an oxymoron? Whereas modern cities, and especially the ‘smart’ ones, always have engineered around efficiency, authors argue that the unplanned encounters are the way to go. Pleasant surprises, serendipity, flourish in places that facilitate cross-overs. Cross-overs between citizens and governments, investors and entrepreneurs, students and corporates, working and retail, living and leisure. Attractive cities and successful innovation hubs are full of cross-overs, so let’s plan for the unexpected.

Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel is a post-doctoral researcher at Delft University of Technology. Jorick Beijer is Foundation Manager at The Class of 2020.

LX factory, Fernando Mendes


Teens & Tech

The attitudes & expectations of tomorrow’s students

Internet access is unarguably one of the single most important services in student accommodation. Use of the Internet dominates students’ lives - and little wonder, as university course materials and resources move online and as the number of WiFi enabled devices students own easily surpasses the number of students in accommodation buildings. The average student now arrives at their chosen accommodation with an average of 5 wireless devices, from smartphones to tablets, wireless printers, speakers and games consoles. 1 Today’s 18-24 year olds live online. In fact, when they’re not asleep they’re online, creating and consuming hours of content via a myriad of devices. But what of the students of 2020? In the Spring of this year, ASK4 commissioned Red Brick Research to perform a piece of research exploring the connected living habits, attitudes and expectations of today’s 14-16 year olds in the UK, Germany and Spain. While 16-18 year olds have been widely researched, the 14-16 year old segment is still largely under-researched, and yet this group are the future residents of the student accommodation buildings already in planning for 2020 and beyond.

1/ Device ownership and usage will continue to grow. European teens have an average of nearly 10 wireless enabled smart devices and systems connected within their homes. Almost all have smartphones and most have computing devices (laptops / tablets), typically in their own rooms. More than half have Smart TVs and a third have other smart appliances and entertainment systems like wireless printers, Chromecast and Sonos speakers. These numbers become even more pronounced when we look at just those European teens intending to go to university. These 14-16 year olds have an average of 10.4 smart devices or systems in their homes, compared to 8.5 for those not intending to go to university. They are also more likely to have smart appliances and entertainment systems. And if they have access to devices, they’re using them...a lot.

The results of the survey questioning 3,000 European teenagers (1,000 in each country) provide a fascinating insight into the future connectivity demands of the students of 2020. Here are five standout characteristics of the future residents of European student accommodation.



ASK4 tracking data

Diverse People Walking Technology Campus Concept, Rawpixel

Nearly all surveyed teens said they use smartphones on a daily basis, and almost three quarters use computing devices and watch Smart TVs each day. In addition, half are using smart devices and appliances like Chromecast, Now TV, Sonos, Amazon Echo and other home control systems every day. This is a generation growing up with access to multiple, interconnected, wireless devices. For the students of 2020, use of the Internet is more than deeply embedded in their lifestyles - use of the Internet is the foundation upon which their lifestyles are built. 2/ Seamless device-to-device connec tivity is an expec tation and not a desire. Over two thirds of European teens intending to go to university say they would find it ‘annoying’ if they could not connect their devices together over WiFi (e.g. laptop to printer, phone to speakers). Expectations for connected living run high for this device-rich generation. When they move away from parents’ homes, either

to student accommodation or their own homes, three quarters expect to be able to use their devices to chat online with friends and family. Almost half also expect to be able to stream content from their mobile devices to a smart TV, connect to their wireless printer using a variety of devices and send music from their mobile devices to a wireless sound system.

One in five also expect to find smart systems and infrastructure in their accommodation, enabling them to control the lighting, heating or door locking systems via their smartphone. 3/ You can expec t a severe reac tion from teens to any loss of connec tivity. Over half of European teens said they would feel ‘frustrated’, ‘isolated’ and ‘angry’ if they were not able to communicate online or connect their devices together as they would at home. One in five said they would feel ‘insecure’ and ‘anxious’.

















On average/ numbers rounded to nearest whole. ASK4 tracking data & L.E.K Report


too easily when using their devices and that there will be too much information about them online as they get older. Almost all teens have taken steps to protect their online privacy, including blocking friend requests, changing privacy settings, regularly changing passwords and avoiding sharing personal information. 5/ Reliability is more important than speed. In the last year alone, average connection speeds in the UK, Spain and Germany have increased by 26%. 2 Within the UK purpose built student accommodation sector, connection speeds have seen a tenfold increase in recent years, with the majority of ASK4 connected users now enjoying base speeds of 100Mb/s, with some accessing premium speeds of 1Gb/s. 3

Education Students People Knowledge Concept, Rawpixel

So when is ‘superfast’ fast enough? When we asked European teens what mattered most to them about their home Internet connection, 34% said reliability was the most important factor. Twenty three percent said coverage throughout their home was most important, while just 21% said speed. Q1 2017 Average Peak Connection Speeds (Mpbs)

UK teens reported the strongest feelings overall, with one in three saying they would feel ‘anxious’. Spanish teens were significantly more likely to feel ‘angry’ compared with their UK and German counterparts. 4/ Privacy matters and 14 – 16 year olds will take steps to protec t it. You might think that growing up in a world built on digital communication would mean European teens are more likely to adopt a complacent approach to online privacy. You would be wrong. Familiarity, it seems, breeds concern. European teens are both privacy aware and privacy savvy. Two thirds said they worry about their privacy when using devices connected to the Internet. More than half think they can be tracked



(Q1 2016) 4 UK

76.1 (61)

25% increase


84.8 (64.7)

30% increase


65.6 (53.9)

22% increase

Countries average

75.5 (59.8)

26% increase

Overall, almost three quarters said that factors relating to the consistency and quality of their connection mattered more to them than having the fastest connection possible. As connection speeds increase, outstripping the capability of most devices, users’ preoccupation with speed is diminishing. For European teens, a reliable service enabling them to do what they want online quickly and seamlessly is what really matters.

Akamia State of the Internet Reports 2016-2017 Some ASK4 connected users also access base and upgrade speeds of 200Mb/s, 250Mb/s and 300Mb/s. 4 Akamia State of the Internet Reports 2016-2017 3


Discover the connected living habits and expectations of tomorrow’s students at ask4.com/connectedliving. • 160,000 student users, 400+ sites

• Super-fast reliable WiFi

• 24/7/365 multi-lingual support

www.ask4.com | sales@ask4.com | @ask4broadband U K | I R E L A N D | G E R M A N Y | S PA I N | P O RT U G A L | P O L A N D

23% 21% reliability coverage throughout their home speed access to content without buffering or lags 16% 34%

access to 24/7 technical support


Ready for the class of 2020? We know that today’s students are demanding consumers, particularly when it comes to their use of and reliance on the Internet. The class of 2020 will be just as demanding, if not more so, with high expectations for the type of connected lifestyles they expect to live, and the device-to-device connectivity they expect to enjoy, once they fly the nest. The challenge for student accommodation operators will be ensuring that each building’s wired and wireless Internet

service is able to meet the usage expectations of residents, and support the type of device-to-device connectivity and connected infrastructure these students expect. As a specialist Internet service provider focusing on purpose built student accommodation, delivering service to over 150,000 users throughout Europe, we have a wealth of experiencing in understanding the needs of students and delivering fit-for-purpose, scalable WiFi and wired solutions to meet their needs w w w.ask4.com Endnote: All stats listed are taken from ASK4’s Connected Living Report 2017/18 (unless otherwise stated), published in October 2017 and available to read in full at w w w.ask4.com/connec tedliving















KPI's: WHAT STUDENTS WANT StudentMarketing reveals: Amenities in student housing: the new driver of yield As the market becomes more sophisticated and competitive, StudentMarketing, a global market intelligence and strategic development consultancy focusing on student housing, in its ongoing observation of PBSA establishments in European cities, sees amenities driving student and parent preferences when choosing a student residence for the university years. Ground-breaking PBSA Amenities Research StudentMarketing has undertaken a comprehensive study of amenities on offer in continental European PBSAs. While the USA and UK are market leaders in this real estate investment segment, investigating the requirements of the European market is essential to gauge the development of student housing. To provide a basis for this analysis – a true picture of what PBSAs are doing to make themselves stand out from the crowd – a study that involved both desktop as well as on-site research was undertaken over a 12-month period with the aim of collating the most detailed list of amenities in Europe. This resulted in an overview of 1,079 PBSAs operating on the continent (encompassing 15 cities across 10 countries). Data never lies: what are the amenities on offer? With a predicted additional 335,000 internationally mobile degree students in Europe by 2020, and continuing growth in the number of incoming students on short-term programmes such as Erasmus+ and U.S. study abroad, the need to know what these students want in their “home from home,” is critical to occupancy. Are investors and PBSA operators prepared for their needs, now, and in the future?

This study of amenities in the selected European cities offers insights into what students are looking for, what cities and countries are doing according to their own cultural norms, and what can be expected in terms of the breadth of amenities on offer. The amenities provided by each of the 1,079 PBSAs were examined in detail; the data was then compiled by city, and subsequently an overall picture emerged as seen in the chart below (which includes a list of 13 selected amenities). These range from laundry rooms, communal kitchens, car parking and bike storage areas to gyms, bars/cafeterias/clubs, libraries and others. Percentage of PBSA establishments in 15 European cities* offering selected amenities

Outdoor playground






Games room


Bar/ Cafeteria/ Club


Car parking






Study room


Bike storage


TV room


Communal kitchen


Laundry room

77% 0%










Source: StudentMarketing, 2016, 2017 *Cities screened: Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Brno, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Porto, Turin, Valencia, Vienna

An overview of cities and amenities 1/ Utilities Data shows that most PBSA establishments offer utilities (the cost of electricity, heating, water and Wi-Fi) as an all-inclusive function of their prices (90% of all PBSAs), while 10% (mostly PBSAs in Copenhagen, Dublin, Barcelona, Valencia and Paris) still treat them as an additional extra.


The trend is towards providing an allinclusive/encompassing rent for utilities as students use, and live by, electronic devices. Not only are laptops and tablets popular among students, but hair dryers, hair straighteners and electric toothbrushes are also commonplace, and it is often expected that provision for these will be reflected in both billing and housing design. Wi-Fi, once viewed as a luxury, is now a commodity, with many PBSAs providing high-speed connections to cater to increased usage, streaming and social media needs. The provision of all-inclusive utilities also, importantly, helps parents who fund education and living expenses (especially of international students) deal with fixed costs rather than monthly variables – a vital component of their financial planning. 2/ Services Just over half the screened PBSAs (51%) provide access control systems and identifiable security measures. While the data was not collated for all cities listed, it is still apparent that security and safety are now coming to the fore in Europe, with parents wanting their children to feel safe in the current precarious geopolitical era. There is clearly an opportunity for PBSAs to either upgrade or incorporate tangible security features in their developments to attract occupants through their parents.

Cleaning and linen/towel changes within PBSAs’ inclusive rent are offered at 41% and 31% respectively, on average (with a number of other PBSAs offering this at extra cost). Provision of this service responds to needs of Millennial students, who prefer to spend more time on lifestyle experiences than daily chores. Moreover, the cleaning service also benefits the longevity of the buildings itself, and its provision will inevitably increase as (boutique hotel/home) tastes transform needs. Whereas 60% of PBSAs on average do offer communal kitchen facilities for students, the provision for meal plans is relatively low, with an average of 20% of PBSAs including this service in their fees. Spanish PBSAs in Valencia (61%), Madrid (53%) and Barcelona (36%) are leading the way – though in low numbers – followed by Italian cities. While, in general, PBSA specifics differ according to city, it is apparent that the level of meal plan provision by student residences is defined by national traditions. This finding shows the importance of understanding both country and city nuances when exploring different markets. 3/ Amenities The most universal PBSA facility is a laundry room, provided by 77% of the 1,079 student residences. Interestingly, this figure is in fact lower for some Spanish cities (Barcelona 62%, Valencia 57% and Madrid 42%) as they offer washing facilities within the apartments, twins or clusters themselves. Thus, whether communal or individual, laundry facilities are essential, as gone are the days of washing your Levis at the local launderette at the end of the street. Interestingly, quiet spaces such as a library are only offered by 19% of PBSAs studied. Students are clearly using their rooms, study rooms (offered by 40% of student residences) and other amenities provided for quiet study time. Moreover,


Chambermaid making bed, Vadymvdrobot

offer of amenities by city

% of PBSA charging utilities as part of month rent % of PBSA charging cleaning service as part of monthly rent


% of PBSA offering study rooms



% of PBSA offering laundry rooms




71% 68%

38% 38%






% of PBSA offering car parking


31% 14%


97% 79% 42%








80% 69% 62% 63%





82% 66% 57% 52%


60% 42% 56% 28%







34% 26%

33% 33%

98% 70%



20% 25%

54% 63%

100% 71% 85% 76%








100% 83% 80%


36% 47%








Source: StudentMarketing, 2016, 2017


the need for a library has become less important as services like Google Scholar and universities’ intranets already provide access to a multitude of electronic copies of texts relevant for study. There is clearly a need, going forward, for TV rooms (51%) and bar/cafeteria/club amenities (currently included in 29% of all PBSAs studied) to cater to the more social aspects of student living and, while more social-oriented amenities are available (on average only 23% of the 1,079 PBSAs have what are called games rooms), their clear redefinition and design as more social spaces, for example social lounges or media rooms, may further attract the new generation of occupants. Gardens, gyms and outdoor spaces are also coming to the fore in PBSA design. Currently, on average, 34% have garden space and 33% have gyms, while only 22% have terrace space and 14% an outdoor playground. Provision of such areas does not only contribute to the social aspect of living in a student residence, but also to the healthy lifestyle of the active generation of Millennial students. Of all the student residences screened, 31% offer a car parking facility. This differs according to city, based on several factors, such as local regulations, the state of public transportation, the preference


of students to opt for accommodation near the higher education institution in which they are enrolled, and the types of clients whom PBSA establishments serve (e.g. whether they accommodate tourists or young professionals in addition to students). A bike storage amenity is offered by 43% of PBSAs, serving as a cost-effective form of commuting in some cities. 4/ The indicators speak for themselves While certain features of student residences are determined by national trends, it is important to understand the nuances of individual cities when exploring investment opportunities. Domestic mobile and international students, though having much in common, display distinct preferences in each study location. The data compiled speaks volumes by laying the groundwork and providing a barometer upon which existing, and new, PBSAs can adapt differing strategies to market forces. These market forces, which are the preferences of students in the main, but also those of other occupants in quieter periods, are direct influencers of the amenities offered by PBSAs. The figures resulting from the research may give student housing providers, universities and cities further insights into competition faced, student preferences, as well as local, regional and pan-European opportunities and best practices.

Parking garage, Blas


What do we see as the future of student housing?

Maintaining the aesthetic and attraction of existing stock, as well as adapting to continuously changing preferences, are the main challenges of student accommodation providers. In this article, David Tigg, director of Tigg Coll Architects, identifies how designers can create a sustainable product that caters the needs of the next generation. We have seen a dramatic evolution of student accommodation design in the last 20 years, with unprecedented growth in the UK’s Higher Education sector that has changed the townscape of the majority of our towns and cities beyond recognition. The model of purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) has undoubtedly become the preferred and prevalent option for students studying in the UK, offering smart en-suite studio bedrooms, overtaking ageing and outof-date university halls and providing a much needed solution to rising student numbers. The development drivers of this accommodation have primarily been density and volume, with the future use, longevity and durability, along with the importance of shared amenities often being overlooked. The challenge for the next 10 years of student housing will be for providers to maintain the aesthetic and attraction of the existing stock, to adapt efficiently to varying preferences of unit type and amenity provision, and to invest in new buildings that are resilient to a continuously changing student profile. This

article looks to identify how designers can create a sustainable product that caters for the needs of the next generation, by addressing what we see as the key influencers on student accommodation design; ever evolving technology, where rapid advancements define how students want to learn and how they access information, restrictive space limitations as land values and planning restrictions increase in our town and cities, and the growing expectations of the younger generations who are faced with rising and variable tuition fees, bringing the quality of education and university experience to the forefront of decision making. Technology as influencer to building design has already made a huge impact on our built environment. Now redundant libraries, post offices and high street banks have all suffered at the hands- or thumbs of technological advancements and changes to the way we live. The current generation of students has immediate access to information, with mobile connectivity offering the opportunity to attend live-streamed tutorials or download pre-recorded lectures from anywhere in the world. This changes the need to physically access campus buildings; lecture halls, libraries, and classrooms in favour of remotely accessed, on-tap knowledge. The challenge for providers is to hold the attention and continue to stimulate this less-patient, ever more technologically proficient and reliant generation of students, by providing spaces that are flexible enough to change and evolve with them. The advantages of accessing knowledge and information remotely should have a positive impact on the space limitations influencing student accommodation. The narrowing availability of inner-city land, coupled with an increased desire for


and accommodation and a competitive graduate marketplace. Students are increasingly looking for best value for money, with a global approach to education where wide-ranging experiences are an essential part of university learning. Operational learnings and insight have led providers to define standards in line with resident expectations, and now offer immediate availability of current and past residents’ reviews of accommodation and real-time video tours meaning students can effectively 'try before they buy'.

Chapter Kings Cross, Andy Matthews


How can we sustain success in student housing alongside these influences? It is widely reported that digital technology is making people more isolated and less able to communicate effectively in the workplace. This means it is even more critical to emphasise social activities and collaborative working at university to develop mature life skills, utilising technology to augment these relationships. Adaptation to technological advancements with a focus on people is key to sustaining the need for quality student facilities.

premium locations means developers are struggling to offer an affordable – or even competitive price point for student living. Throughout the world the trend towards micro, compact living is becoming an essential requirement when faced with space shortages in our densest cities. London is seeing the trend for co-living; sharing communal kitchen and social spaces whilst renting a small, private bedroom, expand into graduate and young professional markets, conceding space in favour of proximity to good transport links. What does this mean for the future of student living as increasing land values and more restrictive planning policies confine viability for many development opportunities?

Land values and the importance of location are ever increasing, is there a way to create attractive assets in less desirable areas? To evolve the concept of location and develop an option where out-of-town developments become desirable would be an interesting way to overcome space restrictions. Satellite or branch campuses link the prestige of a reputable institution with cheaper land, and offer the opportunity for innovation. We are seeing this frequently in the UAE, where leading US institutions are attracting home students as a more affordable option to studying abroad. Do residential providers need to offer a more defined ‘value added’ student experience that has a greater emphasis on education and developing key life skills?

The growing expectations of the younger generations are a result of increasing and variable tuition fees and rental costs, globally accessible choice of courses

The prestigious Oxford and Cambridge universities in England have operated a college system of student accommodation,

derived and developed as a format over 800 years where students apply to attend individual colleges from which to read chosen subjects. The colleges form academic communities where students not only eat and sleep, but also attend additional tutorials from specialists in that subject, advancing learning and understanding. Each college has its own dining hall, bar, common room, library and societies to join, fostering a sense of belonging and identity, and encouraging interaction with peers. These communities cater to both pastoral and educational needs whilst giving students a platform for their own ideas and development. Whilst this is not a new concept, it certainly could offer learnings for the future provision and sustainability of student housing models; providing specific educational facilities, targeting a smaller section of students gives a more flexible, bespoke and appealing offering. What does this mean for design? Beyond the basic parameter of student housing as a place to sleep, eat and cohabit, a successful student residence is

an environment that serves to add to the student experience, cultivating social connections, fostering creativity and learning and act as a link between the world of university and professional life. A setting that creates a sense of community through the physical environment. This environment has to be considered at a number of levels from an intimate oneto-one basis to larger group-to-group associations. The design of a building must consider how to generate opportunities for people to meet, through engineering a chance encounter or developing spaces where community can collectively grow. Good examples of this include the design of communal kitchens or the use and engagement of shared study spaces. The informal and more dynamic social spaces formed at entrance areas and circulation spaces where social capital is critically developed present the opportunity for designers to deliver active and engaging communal areas, where the user can ‘curate’ and use space as they see fit and ultimately feel as if there is a shared engagement in the enjoyment of it.

Chapter Kings Cross, Andy Matthews


continues to evolve and technology continues to advance. Student accommodation providers have the opportunity to act in parallel to local university requirements, rather than just supplying bedrooms and creating the right kinds of informal spaces for interaction to occur, they can offer designed spaces which target student requirements relevant to the strengths of specific universities. An example of this would be the inclusion of specialist laboratories for Bio-tech and life sciences research that supplement or even solely provide university research space. In so doing student housing can attract and sustain residents that use these spaces at both undergraduate and post-graduate level, providing advantageous connections between university and the next steps in industry. The step from theory to practical application.

Nido Collection Spitalfields, Andy Matthews

In creating community we should be looking to both the incidental nature of human interaction and a formal interaction between local businesses and entrepreneurial opportunity, where student housing can actively engage with and introduce the next generation of graduates. The creation of specific spaces such as auditoriums, specialist performance and meeting spaces can deliver wider educational needs, and play a key role in the development of students as individuals; helping to shape and assist in their specific studies and create a link between city and university campus. This will future proof student housing as the way in which students want to learn


Business clustering is already prevalent in cities such as Cambridge, where many of the world’s largest Biotech players have set up shop on the doorstop of the university to attract and harness talent. Student housing could help to foster these links in the future, identifying key – potentially less desirable- sites to develop, and utilizing students as a regeneration catalyst. Innovative, adaptable, evolving neighbourhoods will always be successful in an ever-changing cityscape and student housing should strive to match this, to create fully integrated, better quality of spaces for our future leaders. The future use, longevity and durability of accommodation can no longer take a back seat for developers. Developing a strong sense of community, providing for shared needs and the creation of an identity are fundamental to a sustainable student accommodation platform; offering to further the skills and prospects the students are exposed to will cement the need and demand for accommodation in the future.

The Residential Life Model making it real

The residential life approach at Manchester Metropolitan University has been highly successful in the past years, due to its close cooperation with Student Living Halls teams. In this article, Paula Dalziel explains ways in which the Residence Life model can meet the needs of universities in large European cities. The term ‘Residential Life’ originates from the United States and has been incorporated within university residences, public private partnerships and private residence providers across the world. The Residential Life approach in essence is a peer support model, which offers the necessary adaptability to meet local mission values for university and private providers alike. This article will highlight the successful implementation of a Residential Life model in a modern urban university setting via a Student Living team, by demonstrating the transformation of an operational system of accommodation management to the person-centred delivery of customer engagement, with a marked improvement in customer satisfaction.

and environment) where every student contact counts. Community is a foundation principle of MMU’s mission which underpins the Residential Life approach for providing an excellent student residential experience. Residential Life began at MMU in 2014, building on the research of Thomas’ What Works? (2012), which highlights the need for enhancing the student experience as a way of increasing student retention. The main recommendation from What Works? (p 10) is that universities need to strive to foster a ‘culture of belonging within the academic and social community’; Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs identifies basic human needs that include the individual’s living environment, personal

Manchester is in the top ten European cities for the number of university students with approximately 100,000 students studying across Manchester throughout the academic year. Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) represents 38,000 of these students, and consequently is the size of a small village or community. The university has a forward-looking, dynamic approach to teaching, learning and the holistic student experience (including facilities, support Manchester Metropolitan University


safety and security. Once these needs are met, opportunity is created for humans to build relationships and make friends, which nourishes self-esteem and ultimately self-actualisation. These environmental considerations also sit within a financial environment as Thomas (2012) explains: across the UK 12% of students will leave university and up to 33% of students will consider leaving university at some point within their university career. Maslov’s hierarchy identifies that feeling known and valued are key ingredients in promoting growth and resilience and MMU decided that Residential Services would move from delivering room lets, to providing an ‘excellent student residential experience’. This was not merely a change in emphasis, it was a fundamental philosophical change regarding the purpose of Student Living at MMU. In 2014/2015 MMU adopted this holistic approach by implementing Residential Life with 24/7 Student Living Halls structure in


the 976-bed Birley campus.The newly built Birley Student Living accommodation was designed with the purpose of promoting community; town houses were built to replicate family homes with communal lounge and kitchen areas on the ground floor and student rooms on the upper three floors (12 students sharing). Flats for 8 students were also designed around a shared kitchen and lounge. MMU felt that the requirements for eudainomic growth sat at the heart of providing a culture of belonging and social community: without these in place student living could be seen as a stack of cards that can be blown apart with the wind of change. At MMU the students residing in Student Living flats with other students from across the university’s academic faculties and the Residential Life focus is on the student’s residential social and learning community. The approach offers a proactive peerto-peer support (offered by Residential Advisors (RAs), who are mature students living alongside their peers).

Manchester Metropolitan University

The RAs undertake weekly visits to the students living in halls, know individual students by name, understand their interests and actively encourage engagement by the students across the university programme from accommodation events to respective Student Union societies, MMU Sport and local community volunteering. With this proactive approach, students who become isolated and students creating challenges for other tenants can be identified in a timely fashion as a ‘cause for concern’ to ensure sign posting, information and support are provided where required. The MMU Student Services Counselling and Wellbeing team can only provide support to students that engage with their team: by offering this proactive service many students struggling with university life and who previously may have gone unnoticed are highlighted and encouraged to engage with available support. This helps the individual student and the students living alongside them, fostering understanding to support differences and value diversity. These are lessons that are felt to help all living in the student community, and it provides the means for everyone to participate in building a supportive peer community. It is consolidated with ‘flatmate agreements’ facilitated by RAs, where each flat/townhouse will sit down and discuss how they want to live, and the compromises required to meet all needs and appreciating the contractual agreement they have signed. The residential life approach at MMU has been successful due to the close teamwork of Residential Life and the Student Living Halls teams. The Student Living Halls team offer a student-focused team of professional staff who provide 24/7 operational hall support and proactive night patrolling to ensure community cohesion. The challenges for students surface at all times of the day and night and include such issues as mental health crises, intoxication, bathroom floods, lockouts, noise pollution concerns, parties, and anti-social behaviour.

Manchester Metropolitan University

The RAs remain on-call throughout the night and support the Student Living Halls team in dealing with student’s who have emotional concerns and during times of crisis. This high level of customer service reflects the nature of providing a home for students, with more than 90% of students being between 18-21 years old, often living for the first time away from the family home and learning about living independently within a metropolis of over 500,00 people and 2,500,000 people in the Greater Manchester area. There is recognition (Williams et al, 2015) across the sector that student expectations are increasing, student mental health needs are increasing, and student behavioural challenges remain. The implementation of Residential Life and adopting a new customer-driven Student Living Halls team structure has gained recognition from


Manchester Metropolitan University

MMU students: each year students across the UK offer their opinion about their residential experiences via the National Student Housing Survey, and for the first time in MMU history the team were awarded the 2016 NSHS Best Student Community award.

sense of belonging, and offer people the opportunity for eudaimonic growth in addition to their academic studies and intellectual betterment.

This case study highlights the way in which the Residential Life model can be implemented to meet the environment and mission of university residences within a large European metropolis. The Residential Life approach offers a philosophical framework with which any provider can adopt and adapt the peer support model and create a sense of belonging in a relatively short space of time, to meet the local mission requirements and the improvements to the student residential experience that follow. Residential Life is utilised across the world from Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, the Middle East, South Africa and across South America, North America and Europe. At the heart of all local Residential Life programmes is the drive to provide residences which support basic human needs, create a


Paula Dalziel, Manchester Metropolitan University

Campus trends- the global picture Despite global commonality, students in different markets have different outlooks, motivations, experiences and concerns. In this article, Jo Cash reveals the results of Sodexo’s first University Lifestyle Survey, comparing student needs in different markets within Europe. Sodexo’s first International University Lifestyle Report reveals some common concerns among today’s global student population, particularly around value for money, managing stress and workload, and preparation for the workforce, as well as some key differences in the ways students around the world experience university life. Despite the different university systems around the world, accommodation – its cost, location and services provided – universally plays an important part in the university decision-making process for students. Sodexo UK has conducted its University Lifestyle Survey biennially since April 2004, identifying and tracking trends in key non-academic areas of university life as experienced by undergraduate students. For the first time, in response to a more global higher education sector, Sodexo conducted the survey on a worldwide basis, polling over 4,000 students in 6 countries (the US, China, India, Spain and Italy, as well as the UK). For the first time the survey looked at the four stages of the student journey, from pre-arrival, arrival, living and departure. In an increasingly competitive global higher education market, in which five million students are studying outside their home countries (more than double the 2.1 million who did so in 2000 and more than triple the number in 1990) it is vital that

universities, and indeed their suppliers, apply global insight and intelligence. Equally, the student accommodation market is becoming more globalised for investors. According to Savills, 2015 was a record year for investment in student housing, with global cross-border investment accounting for 40% of all deals in the sector as international investors sought to diversify their portfolios. Steve Hawkins, Managing Director, Student Living by Sodexo said; “As part of a global services company partnering with more than 1,000 universities in 32 countries, the insight provided by the survey is incredibly valuable to ensure we continue to deliver services which contribute to the diverse needs of global students and ultimately improve their quality of life. By taking this broad view of the student journey, we hope we can support universities in their strategic and financial objectives.” Deciding factors for selecting a university Students were very conscious of location and accommodation factors when choosing their university. When asked about the key non-academic factors that influenced their choice of university, 41% of students referenced the importance of good transport links, 30% wanted to live away from the parental home but close enough for parental support, 30% referenced the cost of accommodation and 28% wanted to be able to live at home. Students in Spain and Italy were most likely to live at home (44% of students in each country referenced this), whilst students in the UK, US and China were most likely to live away. In terms of the wider facilities, the most popular factor for students to consider overall was good IT and study facilities, cited by 38%. The second most important factor was an active social life/ good social facilities (named by 32%) and thirdly, financial support (in the form of bursaries/


Top accommodation trends Of the students we polled, the top three types of accommodation were ‘At home with parents/ family’ (31%), ‘Privately let flats/ houses’ (20%) and ‘University run self-catered flats or houses on or near campus (10%). Clearly this was influenced very much by the norms of the university system in each of the countries. Living at home was especially common in Spain (56%) and Italy (55%); whilst Chinese students are most likely to live in university accommodation where living on campus is often mandatory.


sponsorships, etc.) which was a deciding factor for 29% of students. Each country had a different focus in the type of services students were looking for. In the US, financial support was key – 46% of students said this swayed their choice of university - whilst in the UK students were looking for services that would facilitate their social life and extra-curricular education, such as clubs and societies. Despite the increase in digital and distance learning, the look and feel of a university campus is still important to students globally and impacts their decision making. An attractive campus was the most important ‘environmental’ factor, and was named by 37% of students. For over a third of students (35%), a key factor was being on a campus, with all facilities on one site, whilst only 17% specified that they wanted to live on campus. For another 35% of students, having a good experience on the open day was important. In the UK, this was named by students as the single biggest deciding factor in how they choose their university, which points to the importance of universities making a great impression on prospective candidates on these occasions.


According to JLL’s European Student Housing Report, over 80% of all investment in to Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in Europe since 2010 has been found in the UK market, accounting for over €18bn compared to €4bn for the rest of Europe. Unsurprisingly therefore, the survey found that UK students were more likely to live in private student accommodation than students globally and were generally better equipped with services such as social space and sports facilities. The top three services that students worldwide had in their accommodation were wifi (76%), a launderette (62%) and security (58%). Social space and sports facilities were a lot less common – only a third (32%) had social space (i.e. a café or bar), 29% had a gym and a quarter had a multi-use outside games area. When asked which services students considered the most important, wifi was named number one by each country – although it was considered more important in certain countries (86% of Spanish students cited it, compared to only 48% of Chinese students). Accommodation is most likely to be paid for by parents – over half (53%) of the students surveyed said this – although, again, there were big differences depending on the norms of the country. Parents are an important secondary customer in accommodation, either by

providing the accommodation or having a final say in accommodation choice as the person paying the rent. In the UK, loans are the most common way of paying for student accommodation (40%), followed by parents (32%). In the US, nearly a third of students said they paid for their accommodation themselves.

by 22%), closely followed by making new friends (17%). Just over half of students thought their university is welcoming to new students. China was the best at welcoming its freshers – 84% of Chinese students agreed that their university was welcoming – whilst in Italy, only 39% of students thought so.

In terms of overall satisfaction with accommodation, India topped the table with 81% of students expressing satisfaction with their living arrangements. Spanish and Italian students, many of whom live in the parental home, were least satisfied.

More widely, students were concerned by a range of issues including money, managing their workload and loneliness. Just under a third of students have considered dropping out. This was highest in the UK (37%), Italy (36%) and the US (35%), but lower in the Asian markets (20% in India and only 5% in China). Of those students who had considered dropping out, nearly half had done so because of study-related problems. Health/ mental health concerns were also a factor, particularly for students in the UK and US (42% referenced this in each country). Over half of students (53%) were concerned about finding a job after graduation, half had worries about balancing their academic and social life and over a third (35%) had worries about their day to day finances.

The survey found that over three-quarters of students normally do their private study in their room, compared to 50% who do so in the university library, with only a fifth (21%) using communal areas in the university. This highlights the importance of good study facilities in student accommodation, supported by wifi. What is on students’ minds? Key concerns, worries and causes of anxiety When asked about the most difficult thing they had to overcome in their first month, adjusting to new teaching methods and workloads was the top concern (named


Worries about financing university and managing day to day finances were more prevalent in certain countries than in others. Globally, 40% of students said they were concerned about their overall finances. Students in India, the US and Italy were most worried about their dayto-day finances. UK and Chinese students were least concerned. Savills’s World Student Housing Report states that US cities are by far the most expensive in which to study and live, followed by the UK and Australia, whilst mainland Europe can be cheaper. It’s not surprising therefore that American students were more likely to worry about money than others, with more than 40% concerned about debt at graduation and day-to-day money worries. They were most likely to try to save money through measures such as rationing their social lives and walking rather than paying for transport.


In terms of the types of support services students were looking for to help them cope with concerns, half of students said they wanted to learn how to deal with stress, while another third wanted to learn mindfulness. Time and money management, career preparedness and study skills were also mentioned as desirable skills by almost half. Whilst most students felt they were well-supported in dealing with issues related to their studies (62% said so), just over a third (35%) felt that their university would support them with issues relating to their accommodation. Steve Hawkins commented; “In our Student Living by Sodexo accommodation business the focus is very much on creating a supportive, home-from-home environment. Our teams are trained to provide support to students and importantly to signpost them to the right university pastoral services if we can see that a student is finding life hard. Our teams spend a lot of time with students and are well-placed to support university teams by helping students build ‘soft skills’ and to manage some of the stresses and strains of university.” Day-to-day life – all work and no play? The survey found that, as you might expect, students' social lives revolve around eating out and catching up with friends, either in their accommodation/ home or to a café or bar. Eighty one per cent of students said they ate out with friends once a week; 78% met with friends at their own or their friend’s house and 71% had a weekly trip to a café. Use of the Student Union bar was quite different for students in different countries. In China, 91% used their student union/bar on a weekly basis, whilst European students were more like to go to other local pubs and bars. If they were on campus, nearly half of students said they normally buy their lunch at a university restaurant/ café or shop,


whereas 22% said they would bring food with them from home. Most of the students polled said they make some efforts to eat healthily, and in line with that, 44% said they expected to see low-calorie options in university catering and retail outlets. Seventy per cent of students were happy with the amount of scheduled time on their course and today’s studious undergraduates said they only missed on average 1.4 lectures, classes or seminars each week. The endgame – what are the destinations for today’s students? The survey found that over half of students (54%) knew what career they would like to go into following university, although this varied from country to country. Asian students were the most focused on the end goal; 66% of Indian students and 60% of Chinese students had a career plan. Asian students were also the most likely to have completed an internship to help them progress into employment. Sixty seven per cent of Chinese students had done so, compared to a much smaller 21% of UK students. The students we questioned were more concerned with getting a job in an area they were interested in, than in achieving a high salary quickly. Getting a job quickly was the most important thing for Indian, Italian and US students, while getting a job in the right area was the key concern for Spanish and UK students. Hawkins concludes; “As the survey reveals, despite some global commonality, students in different markets have different outlooks, motivations, experiences and concerns. It is therefore vital that we continuously listen to students, explore best practice worldwide and share our insights with clients and stakeholders, so we can, with them, enhance every step of the student journey - from students’ choice of university to their departure to the professional world.”


Breaking New GROUND Over the last years student housing has started to come to the fore with institutional investors starting to increase their fund weightings in this segment of the residential asset class. There have been a number of pioneers in this space, leading the way in the development and operation of student residences, making in roads across several Western European countries (France, Netherlands, Germany to name a few) but what are the emerging markets, what are the new frontiers? Marcus Roberts, head of European Student Housing at Savills and Harald Hübl, Investment Director at value one / MILESTONE discussed this topic ahead of Expo 2017 in Munich. M: MILESTONE just opened a scheme in Budapest in Hungary - an emerging market if ever there was one, what was the rationale behind this move? H: Actually, I would like to argue it was highly scientific but it was not - a much more opportunity driven and gut feeling approach. I had met Peter and Bálint from the Forestay group who had worked on this and they had invited me over. So I drove down in February and I just loved the site - next to the Semmelweis University, close to the underground - in a layout that feels very protective. I heard a lot of students speak German there (Semmelweis has a great reputation especially with undergrads) and thought this just will work... M: I imagine it was tough to convince the others at value one with the Hungarian press coverage at the time... H: Yes, we had long internal discussions... but what prevailed - it was a location too good to miss.... and I had a drone flight video that really helped. But let‘s focus on the future - Marcus, what are the next emerging markets? M: There has been a great deal of activity amongst developers (and operators) in the emerging markets of Portugal, Italy and


even further afield…Central and Eastern Europe for example. Developers are seeing a decent spread between where exit yields are likely to be in emerging and core markets, or indeed other sectors in the same country. We have seen development pipelines and newly completed assets in emerging markets trade (e.g. in Spain) which has given us pricing benchmarks. H: For me it is actually very simple - once a student residence has been locally debt financed and there has been an exit to an institutional investor ... ideally (or typically?) from abroad... it is not an emerging market any more ... M: Yes, in many places, one or two deals have been concluded, which has helped demonstrate pricing, but it is still a thin market but an ever deepening market! There is a second wave of investors that are likely to support the pricing of the first schemes as the fundamentals of a lack of supply and increasing demand continue to create opportunities for more development. Often, the market dynamics lead investors and developers to look at a market, but the feel of a place is as important… particularly when we are looking at cities from the perspective of students and young people. H: And Lisbon is great for young people... I am glad so many people will visit the Class Conference this Autumn and see it for themselves. M: I have heard you had some personal plans as well... H: Yes, I do - I generally like to stay a few nights in the new MILESTONE houses and with the location opening at the new NOVA campus in Carcavelos this should be especially rewarding. So close to the beach... so much sun. Perfect conditions... and a great academic track record... but should not we join the others in the Oktoberfest tent? M: That is also a great idea... we can tick this off the list...

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BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL LECTURE ROOMS Distance learning has become an accelerating trend over the past decade. While the costs of studying abroad are getting higher, online courses offer an alternative solution by increasing worldwide accessibility on education. Andreas Chrysanthou for The Class of 2020, examines in this article the concept of distance learning and the current online studying opportunities provided by edX, one of the largest MOOC providers worldwide. A brief history on distance learning The concept of distance learning originated as early as in the 1700s, when an advertisement was published in Boston’s newspaper Boston Gazette, with the slogan “Teacher of the New Method of Short Hand”. In that context, Caleb Phillips offered lessons sent weekly by mail to anyone interested with the proposal “Be as perfectly instructed as those who live in Boston”. Distance learning evolved gradually through the 1800s-1900s. Businesses had very little trust in diplomas obtained outside the traditional lecture rooms, as in their opinion, anyone could mail a few hundred dollars and receive a certificate in return. In 1995, the first online courses appeared on the web by American universities; however, the use of internet was still at infant levels. Following their history, some hundreds of years later in 2012 the prestigious universities of Harvard and MIT collaborated in founding edX, which has rapidly evolved into one of the largest MOOC providers in the world. The present state Both established in 2012, Coursera and edX are currently the world’s


largest MOOC providers. Coursera has provided 2,813 online courses since its establishment and cooperates with 149 university partners, while edX has provided 1,666 courses and cooperates with 90 universities. In total, the two platforms have reached more than 35 million users worldwide. A short analysis of the current content provided by edX, reveals that the most universities providing opportunities for distance learning are based in the US; with 764 out of 1,666 courses in total. The second largest group of providers are international companies such as Microsoft and IBM (196 courses), while the European continent still lacks competitiveness in the field of online courses. Institutions in the Netherlands and Spain are the most competitive within the EU currently providing 86 and 79 courses accordingly, while Switzerland follows on the leadership with 39 courses. However, considering the balance between introductory, intermediate and advanced level courses, the Netherlands tops every other country in the EU. It can be observed that the courses that are popular inside the classroom, also are popular online courses. The analysis identifies the most popular course by subject, with courses related to computer science being the most popular (429 courses), followed by business and management (323) and engineering (251). The pace through which students can follow online courses is often quite flexible, as approximately 30% of the courses are self-paced; meaning that students are able to complete a course at their own pace. Distance learning, as it currently matures rapidly, contributes significantly to the internationalization of higher education, increasing accessibility to students who could not otherwise afford to study abroad.

Education for the poor? Substantial research has been done on how distance learning has bent the cost curve for students worldwide. The American Economic Association journal published a relevant research in 2015, examining the effect of introducing online courses on undergraduate education, reveals that “a 10 percent growth in an institution’s online student population lowered the cost of tuition for all students by 1.5 percent”. Another study on the affordability of online education by the Florida Board of Governors reveals that by supplementing face-to-face courses with online courses often shortens the time needed to complete a degree and therefore decreases costs for students. Most importantly, the highest percentages of edX online course learners come from less developed economies (11% India, 4% Brazil, 3% Mexico, 2% China). So yes, online education is more affordable, but is it also more cost efficient for the providers?

Collaborating for success Research suggests that the collaboration of higher education institutions has a strong influence in decreasing the costs of supplying distance learning. In other words, it is much cheaper to provide online courses, if the course is provided through a collaboration of 2 or more HEIs. Several examples can be found in Europe, including five Flemish universities in Belgium collaborating with VRT NU and Knack. be, both Flemish broadcasting networks, to make subjects related to biology and engineering accessible to a much wider audience. Such trends in Belgium were largely influenced by cooperative online courses provided by HEIs The Netherlands. A remarkable example of this is an in-Amsterdam recorded course by Delft University of Technology and the University of Wageningen, on Sustainable Urban Development. This course has been one of the kick-starters for the institutional collaboration between TU

Students Woman Studying Online Browsing E-Learning Concept, Rawpixel


EDX Online Courses by Subject Environmental Science Humanities

Computer Science

Business & Management



Art & Culture






Economics & Finance




Health & Safety Chemistry

Biology & Life Sciences

Design Languages

Ethics History



Food & Energy & Earth Nutrition Sciences

Source: The Class of 2020

Delft, Wageningen University & Research and MIT Boston, in the newly established Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. Whereas the European Commission is promoting education innovation through MOOCs, in the recent new EU agenda for higher education, some institutions wonder whether European partners should cooperate in developing a European alternative to edX and Coursera. Alex Katsomitros, a research analyst at the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education highlights the necessity of such an initiative by supporting that “it might be the only means of survival for smaller universities”. Indeed, apart from FutureLearn, a MOOC platform founded by 17 UK universities and the Berlin-based Iversity, little action has been taken to create a European platform. What about the learning performance? CCAP (Centre of College Affordability and Productivity), a current Forbes contributor on education trends, characterizes online courses as a form of “Destructive Innovation” for higher education. In fact, they suggest that standardized online courses provided by Textbook companies such as Pearson largely increase the efficiency of education by reducing teaching time, reduced staff, tuition


savings and individualized attention to students. Moreover, research comparing the efficiency of online vs offline courses suggests that students taking online courses are more efficient than those choosing the in-classroom approach. It is important to mention that standardized online courses are more difficult to create for topics such as humanities or psychology which require constant interaction between students and professors. Furthermore, introductory online courses are far more efficient than intermediate and advanced levels. Consequently, it cannot be assumed that online courses are always more efficient since several topics are more efficiently taught in-classroom. To sum-up Distance learning is an astonishing advancement for worldwide education. It is a perfect fit for life-long learners who wish to specialize in a specific sector and it allows more students to have an internationalized experience by providing more affordable ways of learning. Finally, distance learning acts as a powerful instrument for innovative collaboration within the higher education industry, but also beyond. Does that mean that the future campus is an online environment only?

The impact of digital technology on the search for student accommodation Digital technology is revolutionising the process of searching for student accommodation. More often than not, students and their parents are skipping over classified ads. Simplification, transparency and convenience It is becoming routine that properties are let through individuals or agencies with no online presence. It is the result of the digitisation of a sector which, nevertheless, merges two very different generations. While it is important to note that half of landlords in France are retired, and 60% are over 50, 1 they nonetheless need to keep up with a target market of students who universally use dedicated or generalinterest websites to find their future accommodation. The promise of simplification and convenience is at their fingertips; in a few clicks, a student has access to thousands of accommodation offers close to where he/she will study or carry out an internship.

Search engines allow students to compare the rents easily and to navigate through the various types of accommodation (i.e. renting an entire apartment, room in a flat share, room with a host family, mixed-age flat share, apartment in a serviced student residence, etc.). Traditionally, general-interest web platforms for classified ads are the most popular, bringing together the widest range of accommodation options (i.e. Craigslist, Leboncoin, Seloger or Zillow). They allow landlords to share their contact details with a wide range of potential tenants; however, these websites are not involved in linking individuals together, and transactions take place away from the website. In recent years, we have seen the emergence of dedicated, ‘integrated’ web platforms, like Uniplaces, Student. com, and Spotahome, which promise to address evolving student needs (i.e. online booking, trusted third-parties, and virtual apartment viewings). Despite their rapid growth, boosted by high marketing spend, their market share of the volume of transactions remains marginal.













Types of Properties Offered to Students 51%


Studio / 1 room 2 rooms 3 rooms 16%

4+ rooms


Digitisation hampered by the complexity of the supply market The digitisation of the customer experience when booking student accommodation is facing a number of significant obstacles in its transition from ‘making booking requests online’ to ‘booking online’. The first obstacle for web platforms, which digitise the customer experience when booking student accommodation, is to centralise the supply of accommodation provided by an array of different market players from real estate agencies and private landlords to student residences and serviced apartments. On the demand side, there is a mixture of local students who want to view the property for the day before making a commitment, international students who want to book remotely, and students who have no constraints. They are faced with complicated administrative procedures, which vary from one European country to another, like rental documents including a guarantor, rental agreements, deposit certificates (handwritten) and home insurance. There is very limited transparency with regards to availability; long-term leases, especially in France, are subject to regulations under the ALUR Act, which states that a tenant must give a month’s notice to terminate his/her rental agreement. This process for giving notice is manual, and requires all marketing channels to be updated. There is one business policy, employed by landlords, which does not comply with


the required standards. In the case of an apartment which is available in June, but which is not re-let between June and September, the landlord will ask the tenant to take the accommodation right away, and pay 2 to 3 months’ rent in advance, in order to maximise the accommodation occupancy rate. In some areas with weaker demand, negotiations take place. These business terms still operate on a ‘case-bycase’ basis, with a lack of transparency. Only those working in the industry are capable of deciphering the situation. For web-platform transactions (e.g. on Uniplaces or Spotahome), there is a commission-based business model which duplicates agency fees; yet, more than a third of accommodation available for students in France is rented through a real estate agency. What’s more, it remains difficult to sustain a commissionbased business model for landlords when demand in large student towns exceeds supply. Getting a good ‘vibe’ is still a very important part of the booking process, for both the landlord and the tenant; the former wanting to rent his/her property from someone he/she can trust. This is why a face-to-face meeting is still the norm when it comes to viewing accommodation. A rapid change in demand It is not uncommon to read that accommodation is a significant challenge for France’s ‘Grandes Écoles’ and universities as they try to provide their students with the best places to live. These very same institutions are encouraging the property market to adapt. Student courses are becoming increasingly segmented (internships, international placements, work/study options, summer schools, etc.), which is having a considerable impact on the need for accommodation, and changing the customer experience when searching for somewhere to live.

We’ve done the math: a business school student may end up moving up to 7 times during his/her 3-year course. The process is the same, whether you are searching for accommodation for 1 to 6 months, or for a longer period. Nevertheless, the demands are not the same: the process, which involves a viewing, plus the rental application, plus the deposit, becomes very tedious when repeated a number of times per year. A survey involving 1,200 private landlords, who let their accommodation to one of the 135 French colleges and universities registered on the Studapart website, shows that 34% of these landlords let their accommodation to at least 2 tenants during the year, to ensure occupancy.

rates for the full year, i.e. virtual viewings, clear and flexible rental terms, and the ability to take remote bookings. With digital technology, the new ‘goto’ gateway for searching for student accommodation, all of the market players are centralised onto a few major web platforms for classified ads. Innovative technology and new practices have allowed ‘integrated’ web platforms to emerge, with promises to digitise 100% of the customer experience, but without fully achieving this so far. This sector, with its complex standards, is yet to be fully disrupted.

There is an emerging, rapidly-growing demand from international students. France hosts nearly 300,000 foreign students each year, just behind England with 400,000 students. Currently, they represent 14% of students in France and are expected to represent 17% by 2024. In large student towns, informal landlords are often left to deal with a new customer base that: • Is unable to come and view the accommodation • Often does not speak the local language • Are unable to submit rental documents which are ‘compliant’ with the required standards and covered by national safeguards At the moment, individual landlords are predominantly losing this customer base to private or public student residences, which are better equipped to meet these needs and are directly linked with the host higher education institutions. Thus, despite demand exceeding supply in the majority of large student towns across Europe, landlords must keep up with new practices to achieve optimal occupancy Alexandre Ducoeur, Co-founder Studapart


Home sweet home Europe’s first and largest international student housing research reveals the nine most common challenges faced by stakeholders when it comes to this topic. The HousErasmus+ project suggests a set of recommendations to the different stakeholders, especially policy-makers and housing providers. "We have identified student accommodation as one of the biggest obstacles to mobility� stated João Pinto President of ESN during the final conference of the HousErasmus+ project. Finding accommodation for an international student is definitely a challenge.


Due to the widely acknowledged positive impacts that student mobility has on the higher education sector and society at large, Europe has seen a rapid increase of student mobility in the past years. The European Union has set the target of having 20 per cent of all higher education graduates take part in a mobility experience by 2020. Unfortunately, the infrastructures required to further increase student mobility are often not sufficient and housing markets become more and more saturated. Students and trainees are often experiencing troubles finding accommodation and many state that costs were higher than they expected. In an effort to help solve this situation, our research gathered the main challenges students face and suggests potential solutions to them.

Classmate Classroom Sharing International Friend Concept, Rawpixel

Around half of Erasmus+ students claim that it is difficult to find accommodation. Almost half (45%) of students in Erasmus+ study mobility and 56% of those doing traineeships say that the housing market of their host HEI was difficult. Across all chosen student target groups, almost half stated that their accommodation costs were higher than expected. 39% of exchange students and 50% of those doing traineeships state that the cost of accommodation in their host country was higher than they had expected. Most of the students for whom extra cost made it difficult to finance their exchange period turned to family support or used their personal savings, which raises the question about social selectivity of exchange periods abroad. HEIs are the main source of reliable information. For Erasmus+ students, the information provided by their HEI regarding accommodation options is the main source of information and also most often leads to them actually finding accommodation. On average around 66% of Erasmus+ students say that the information provided by their host HEI was useful. On the other hand, social media channels, as well as general housing websites, are commonly used to look for information on housing but rarely lead to students actually finding accommodation. Helping hand from the HEI. Roughly twothirds of Erasmus+ students and trainees arrange their accommodation themselves and for around one-third of those in study mobility, the host HEI arranged it for them. Living in a student dormitory. The percentage of exchange students living in dormitories depends heavily on the way of life in the specific country and can range from more than 75% to less than 10%. Satisfaction with accommodation. Around two thirds of the Erasmus+ student body claim that their accommodation was good

Student working at home, Mimagephotography

value for money and around three quarters reported overall satisfaction with their accommodation. Lack of equal treatment. An average of 17% of respondents those in Erasmus+ study mobility report perceived discrimination when looking for accommodation and 12% of them experienced attempted fraud when looking for accommodation in their host country. Typical aspects mentioned as perceived discrimination are: less access to in- formation, higher rents, as well as xenophobia and legal restrictions. Situation is more difficult for trainees. Bearing in mind that no substantial differences can be observed among different student target groups, Erasmus+ programme trainees assess their success in nding decent and affordable housing slightly below that of all the other groups. To have a full picture of the challenges faced during mobility, we collected information from the surveys with universities, housing providers, student organizations, policy makers and found out that there is a strong need for a better cooperation between them. Mentioned stakeholders also need to provide quality information about housing options to students. In this paper we will present six out of the main challenges together with a set of selected recommendations to policy-makers and housing providers.


houserasmus+ recommendations

Housing Providers

Local - Regional - National Policymakers

EU & Erasmus+ Framework

Topic 1: Need for more cooperation - All stakeholders involved (HEIs, student organisations, housing providers, policy makers etc.) expressed the need for more cooperation to get a better understanding of the challenges and to work on a more systematic approach to solving those challenges. Should:

Need to:


Organise themselves in umbrella organisations to share practices & learn from each other’s experiences.

Map whether there are specific regulations that hinder cooperation between different stakeholders in the field of student accommodation.

Provide a platform to bring together key actors & student bodies to discuss accomodation issues for mobile students.

Strive for closer collaboration & a better understanding of students’ needs.

Example: If HEIs can cooperate with housing providers?

Topic 2: Lack of quality information - Students struggle to get the necessary information, which leads to challenges in finding accommodation. In many cases, students go abroad without having permanent accommodation arranged. Should: Identify the specific needs of mobile students Adapt the information provided about accommodation offers accordingly (e.g. information about areas in the city, way of life, etc.).

Support initiatives often organised by national agencies responsible for higher education to include information on the general culture & way of life and possibly link this to reliable & up-to-date informationon accommodation for students. Example: initiative Study in Europe, which aims at attracting talent from outside Europe.

Topic 3: Financial burden - The additional financial burden of taking part in a mobility is still the number one obstacle for the students on move. The private housing market could provide low-cost student accommodations as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to support students from a lower socio-economic background.

National policymakers should ensure the portability of national student support grants & loans.

Current calculation of Erasmus+ grants based on living costs doesn’t take into account the real costs of students (e.g. same grant allocation for students studying in Portugal & Luxembourg.) We suggest to calculate Erasmus+ grants based on regional costs rather than national costs. Implement a scheme in the Erasmus+ programme that allows students to combine academic studies with traineeships abroad, thus allowing for additional income.

Topic 4: Insufficient student housing - There is a general lack of student housing in many cities. Public or private investments into the student housing market is necessary. Currently, mobile students need to compete with the local student population and are therefore at a disadvantage. Student accommodation is potentially a profitable market & should therefore be considered as a possible market for investment.

Public investment in the creation of public or semi -public student service organisations. Cases of France (CNOUS) & Germany (DSW) can lead to good results. Subsidies & tax incentives for investments to create accommodations for students should be considered as an option to support the internationalisation efforts of HEIs & to reap the full benefit of the acknowledged advantages the local community gains from hosting mobile students & trainees.

Consider measures to balance mobility follows & encourage mobility to less popular destinations. This could help to overcome the already overburdened housing markets in some of the most popular host cities.

Topic 5: Short-term accommodation - Short-term mobility often leads to issues with contractual arrangements for accommodation, as short-term renting is less attractive (or legally challenging) for housing providers. Create partnerships with HEIs to guarantee longterm rents despite the fact that mobile students stay only for a short period of time.

Revise sub-letting regulations for student accommodation to allow a more flexible sub-letting enviornment and create tax-incentives for renting to (mobile) students.

Topic 6: Trainees are facing most challenges - The fact that students that go abroad for a traineeship do not have a receiving Higher Education Institution makes them a particularly vulnerable target group.


Offer additional incentives for students wanting to study for 2 semesters. The benefits of having longer mobility experience are widely acknowledged.

Additional support mechanisms for students that chose to do a traineeship abroad should be considered, taking into account the great added value it can bring to the local community & labour market.

1/ Need for more cooperation - All stakeholders involved (HEIs, student organisations, housing providers, policy makers etc.) expressed the need for more cooperation to get a better understanding of the challenges and to work on a more systematic approach to solving those challenges. 2/ Lack of quality information - Students struggle to get the necessary information, which leads to challenges in finding accommodation. In many cases, students go abroad without having permanent accommodation arranged. 3/ Financial burden - The additional financial burden of taking part in a mobility is still the number one obstacle for the students on move. 4/ Insufficient student housing - There is a general lack of student housing in many cities. Public or private investments into the student housing market is necessary. Currently, mobile students need to compete with the local student population and are therefore at a disadvantage. 5/ Short-term accommodation - Shortterm mobility often leads to issues with contractual arrangements for accommodation, as short-term renting is less attractive (or legally challenging) for housing providers. 6/ Trainees are facing most challengesThe fact that students that go abroad for a traineeship do not have a receiving Higher Education Institution makes them a particularly vulnerable target group.

Creating partnership between HEIs, housing providers and policy makers is the first step towards solving these problems. Private housing providers can find benefits investing in a profitable and stable market, as when a crisis hits, students usually continue to study. Policymakers from their side can support with subsidies and tax incentives for public and private investments. At the same time European institutions can provide a platform to bring together key actors including student bodies to discuss accommodation issues for mobile students. Providing more information on the countries, their regulations and ways of life together with reliable and up-to-date information on accommodation for students could be another good way to support mobile students. Housing for international students is a fundamental issue to deal with, it links to a large part with the general discussion on student housing but does has some specificities that all stakeholders need to acknowledge. Without more political support, the question of student housing will not be solved for anyone and it is why we hope that our research will encourage you to reach out to other stakeholders in the field to work together on solutions and lobby policymakers for better policies on this very important matter, particularly in the new Erasmus programme after 2020. You can find our complete research and policy recommendations on our website at www.houserasmus.eu/research Diana Bologova and Jeremy Apert, HousErasmus+

Short-term mobility students and trainees are particularly vulnerable target group, as they usually are not staying in same accommodation for more than six months. This makes them an “unattractive client� to the housing providers. The situation of international students is also more difficult because they usually don’t know the local language, regulations, etc. Student writing on computer in cafe, Bialasiewicz


The Paradox of Private PBSA and the Affordability of Student Housing In residential real estate markets with great supplydemand imbalances, affording or even finding an apartment on a student budget can seem almost impossible. Manu Moritz weighs in on this topic, examining some of the structural break downs in housing markets and discussions we should be having about reregulating student accommodation development. Student accommodation has made great leaps within the European Residential market in the past decade. Where even the idea of student accommodation being its own asset class would have been speculation 10 years ago, it has since come to the fore as a leading alternative more than capable of weathering financial and political storms. But let’s take a step back and see student accommodation for what it is: at the end of the day, it is a place for students to live. Even in a liberalising, global economy, most European countries approach higher education as a public good that should remain affordable, granting students within their borders low or no tuition fees, rent subsidies, cheap loans, and/ or discounts on other public goods (i.e. public transportation and museums). And it makes sense to do this, to encourage the continued growth of knowledge workers for a knowledge economy and to also simply have a well-educated society contributing to a stronger democracy and social structure. The Problem with Housing However, when it comes to the provision of housing, we can see that many


residential markets are failing to properly accommodate their student populations. In almost all European countries, housing is the number one cost in a student's budget – it is therefore also the item most likely to risk the affordability and therefore accessibility of attending university for the most financially vulnerable of students. How then can we ensure enough adequate housing at a more affordable price point? It is easy to say that this responsibility should fall upon public housing providers or universities, that as higher education is treated as a public good, the auxiliary needs and expenses of being a student should also be publicly provided for. Yet, it is clear that public actors are unable to keep up with changing student housing preferences and demand growth for various reasons. Given growing supplydemand imbalances, it is no surprise that there has been a subsequent rise of private purposefully built student accommodation (PBSA) providers in Europe. In the 'bottleneck' cities of Europe (places like London, Paris, and Amsterdam), there are simply not enough beds. More specifically to students, there are not enough beds at a low enough price-point, and the current provision from private PBSA providers is much too expensive for the average student budget. Interestingly enough, even though most private PBSA is in the luxury price range, their existence arguably does still help student housing crises. Given a structural housing shortage for students and the greater population, every additional bed added to the situation ought to be treated as just that, a bed. The more beds, the less constrained the overall housing market and prices will cool, even if those beds are at a higher price point. There are of course opponents to this position that see private PBSA as fundamentally wrong given the higher

rent levels and thus the generally lessinclusive economic background that these beds can serve. These opponents, like student unions and tenant advocacy groups, are not wrong when they point out that private PBSA is more expensive, provides superfluous services, and may perhaps lead to a new market expectation that student rents can and should be higher. However, even though private PBSA providers are unable to directly serve the average student budget, these new student residences can still help improve the availability of lower cost accommodation for those students who need it. This line of reasoning stems from the idea of 'vacancy chains'. In its simplest form, imagine this: Person A lives in an apartment at Price-point B, and Person B lives in an apartment at Price-point C, and Person C is living with their parents looking and waiting for something affordable (at Price-point C). Should Person A move to an apartment at Pricepoint A, then the apartment at Price-point B is now available for Person B. Should Person B then decide to move to the apartment at Price-point B, then suddenly there is an available apartment at an

affordable price for Person C. Now, this simplified, linear explanation has its faults surely, but vacancy chains are applied to entire systems. So, if at a city-region scale many luxury priced PBSA beds become available and draw students able to afford them out of, for instance, subsidised student housing, then there are many more subsidised student housing units available for other students unable to afford luxury student housing. This not only ends up benefitting the people at the bottom of the vacancy chain but the whole system overall as people are more easily able to match themselves with appropriate housing for their financial and lifestyle situation. One of the greatest problems students face when entering the housing market is that the vacancy chain has slowed substantially or stopped altogether. This can result in students competing directly with young professionals who have been unable to move out of apartments that would have otherwise been available for students before. Healthy vacancy chains are key to a healthy housing market, and a healthy housing market is key to affordability. The question then becomes, how can we improve vacancy chains?


















Source: The Class of 2020


Re-Regulation as a Means to Provide Cheaper Student Accommodation Adding to the top of the vacancy chain ladder is only beneficial to the overall housing system as long as there are enough people who can afford that higher price-point. An even better way to address student housing affordability issues is to try and add more units further down the chain at mid-range or lower prices. However, private PBSA providers are not incentivised to produce student beds at these lower price-points as their cost of construction per unit still remains more or less the same. Thus, developers need to find cost cuts which can also translate into reduced rents for student residents. There are multiple ways this can happen from direct subsidies from the government (unlikely in most instances for private developers) to working with municipalities to secure cheaper land. However, perhaps even more effective would be regulatory changes. Zoning and housing regulations exist for good reason (i.e. safety, public health, quality of streetscape/urban design, etc.). However, some of the regulations for the broader residential market unnecessarily slow the delivery time and add additional costs to student housing development, inevitably maintaining housing shortages and adding cost to student rents.

car nor want one with them at school. As a result, all that these types of regulations cause are additional construction and maintenance costs for developers which are inevitably reflected in the rents their customers (the students) pay. Deregulation should not be seen as the answer; what is needed is re-regulation of student housing development. As students make up a very specific part of the population with specific needs and expectations, building regulations should demonstrate an understanding of these differences, allowing for new kinds of design that students demand, want, and need from their residences while at the same time allowing for cheaper and faster delivery. The specifics of reregulating student housing will differ greatly from one country to the next, but this is a conversation that ought to be pushed if private PBSA providers are going to break into the mid-range housing market. And it’s not just students who benefit from student specific housing. As fewer students compete in the general housing market, this will also alleviate some of the tension therein, greasing the vacancy chains, and taking us in the right step for a healthier housing market.

Let's take parking as an example. Most countries have building regulations containing provisions on parking spaces. In many cases, these provisions require a certain number of parking spaces to be provided by the developer based on the number of residences or square meterage of the final structure. The justification for these provisions are sensible: with more residences, there will be more residents, which will lead to more personal automobiles in the neighbourhood, which if without a designate place to put them can cause some serious parking and traffic issues in an area. However, most student populations across Europe, and especially in the largest cities with the tightest housing markets, do not drive a


Manu Moritz, The Class of 2020

market updates

Hamburg, Woodie


NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN STUDENT HOUSING Undersupply of student housing can be observed in most European countries, particularly in popular study destinations such as the UK, Germany and France. Due to continuously increasing demand, 2017 has seen many new student housing developments sprout up throughout Europe in 2017.

In France, one of the largest developments is a €25 million commitment from the NewAquitaine city council. This development consists of a large-scale student complex accommodating a total of 4,300 students; the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. As a result, a boost in new applicants is expected for the universities located in Bordeaux. In Paris, All-Suites plans the development of a 430bed student accommodation in Choisy-leRoi, while Harrison Street in a partnership with HPC announced the addition of 1,200 beds in Paris-Saclay University campus. Furthermore, Logirem acquired land of 8,000 square meters for the development of 197 student dwellings in Carre Saint Lazare district in Marseille.

Meanwhile, in the UK, construction of student housing is occuring in many areas, including Chichester, Plymouth, Glasgow, Belfast and Dresden. Despite some objections of redeveloping a brownfield site into accommodation for students, Chichester city council and the private investor Osborne came to an agreement to deliver a 521-bed complex. In Plymouth, one of Devon’s shopping malls is redeveloped into student accommodation including 110 dwellings. TrueStudent has completed the construction of a 589-bed complex in Glasgow. In Belfast, Olympian Homes is in the process of constructing a 474-bedroom block which


will be completed by the end of August 2018. Finally, King’s College London is considering the development of a new campus in Dresden.

Several small-scale developments take place in Ireland: In Dublin, the local student accommodation company Summix submitted plans for the developing of a 349-room project bringing the total amount of rooms proposed by the company to 1000. Another development in Dublin takes place at Park Shopping Centre, which will be redeveloped to accommodate 541 students by the Wilkinson family and Jeff Carter of Grand Coast Capital.

Important developments are also taking place in Germany, mainly in Bremen and Hamburg by local investors, while the market attracts foreign investors from The Netherlands. In Bremen, Studentenwerk and several private investors are developing more than 1000 student accommodations, which will be completed by 2019. Additionally, 371 fulltimbered studios are under development on Neuenfelder Strasse in Hamburg; Woodie has invested a total of €37 million for this project. Dutch private investors are attracted to the German market, investing in a development of 200-300 student apartments at Dortmunder-U housing complex. The Student Hotel, one of the larger student housing providers in Europe, is currently developing new accommodation in Berlin, while future locations under consideration include Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich.

The are major new developments in the Netherlands in the cities of Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Delft. The Student Hotel Maastricht opened to guests this fall with 378 rooms, expanding the hybrid student housing - hotel concept to its 6 th city in the country. Luna Residences plans the construction of 441 new dwellings in Eindhoven, while the city council of Groningen approved the construction of another 435 student residences to be completed in 2019.

In the neighboring country of Belgium, the city council of Brussels has increased investment into the development of lowcost social student housing. In a period of under-supplied, high rental priced apartments, the development of low cost housing will give the opportunity for accommodation to less advantaged students. A larger project in the works is the redevelopment of the former barracks next to Etterbeek Station in Brussels. The so-called "Brussels Barracks Project" is a joint venture between ULB, VUB, and the city and will result in a mixed-use complex, including 800 residences (approximately 650 for students). The target completion date for the entire complex is in 2023.

Club Suite Glasgow, TrueStudent

With a much smaller student population, Luxemburg currently accommodates only 6,000 students, 70% of them residents of the Grand Duchy. The remaining 1,800 students seek accommodation through the university of Esch-sur-Alzette, which intends to develop 141 more student dwellings in the near future.

In Austria, expansion of the student housing market is currently concentrated in Vienna, where 663 new apartments are in progress by the local company Fizz Wien. Furthermore, The Student Hotel plans for the construction of new student accommodation in Vienna in 2019.

A new student village is under development in Switzerland by Apartis foundation in Friborg. Consisting of 143 apartments, it will be able to accommodate 413 students. The local municipality expressed some objections to the project since the developers plan the construction of a 2000-watt energy production center to support the student accommodation. However, Apartis foundation claims that the production will consist of 100% renewable energy.

The Student Hotel Maastricht


There are numerous new developments in the Nordics. Primary developments occur in Sweden, followed by Norway, Finland and Denmark. Overall, the Scandinavian student housing projects set sustainability as one of their primary targets. To tackle the undersupply of student housing, the Swedish government allocated 2.7 billion SEK in 2017 for the construction of new housing targeting students and first-renters, and another 3.2 billion SEK annually for the years 20182020. As a result, many new developments are under construction in various locations. In Stockholm, 230 apartments are under construction at Teknikgringen KTH campus, expected to be completed by the end of 2017. 160 more apartments are in progress at Helsingborg campus, part of Lund University, while government funds aim to stimulate the construction of new student housing in the areas of Skane and Gardet. In addition, common strategies are being developed by the university of Jonkoping and the local municipality for further expansion of the university campus. New developments in Finland include a project of 700 new student apartments in the town of Joensuu, expected to be


completed in 2018. Furthermore, 300 more apartments are under development in Lappeenranta by the local company Lappeenranta Student Housing Foundation, to be completed by the end of 2017. Meanwhile in Nor way, 2 large-scale developments are currently under way in Kringsja and Trondheim. In Kringsja (Oslo), a planned project of 1,500 student dwellings is taking place, with the first 350 houses being completed and already available for students. In Trondheim, a student village (Moholt 50|50) provides additional accommodation to 1,300 more students. The village is now able to accommodate a total of 2,200 students. Both projects set a primary target of promoting sustainability by minimizing the total amount of emissions. Meanwhile, the government debates the need of more student accommodation in Ostfold. In Denmark, the local company Mogens de Linde plans the construction of a 7-floor residential complex in Aarhus, consisting of 75 to 100 2-bedroom apartments for students. Furthermore, PensionDanmark has invested 1 billion DKK in its first major student housing deal to construct affordable student halls for the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

Moholt Norway, Thomas Bekkavikn

After a general outlook of Southern Europe, including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, it can be observed that after a long-stagnated period in the housing market due to the economic crisis the market is slowly recovering, forming new opportunities for local and foreign investment.

The Italian market has attracted the interest of The Student Hotel, with a new housing complex nearly completed in Florence and another to be constructed in Bologna with 620 beds. A cooperation between the University of Parma and the local council plans the redevelopment of the former prison St. Francis into 87 new student residences.

In Spain, a rapidly expanding student housing market has attracted many new developments, while foreign investment in related projects is also increasing. According to JLL, investment dedicated to student housing is approximately â‚Ź600

million for 2017, a rapid increase from only â‚Ź45 million invested in 2016. The Student Hotel is currently developing a second building in Barcelona, while plans for expanding its business in Madrid have been announced. Corestate announced the opening of their new Madrid residence. In April 2017, ORMS has submitted a housing scheme of 700 new student dwellings in Barcelona, while Carey European Student Housing is currently developing a 350-student house complex In Cabanyal district, Valencia. The project is expected to be completed and open for the academic year 2018-2019.

Greece faces similar problems in regard to undersupply of student housing. While students struggle to find accommodation on university campuses, the local government struggles to arrange social housing for the excess students; with the recent example of the municipality of Athens placing a bidding for the accommodation of 137 students in August 2017.

Fizz Wien



Savills Residential Capital Markets At the forefront of the European student housing market Over the last 18 months we have been involved in over â‚Ź1.65bn worth of student housing transactions totalling in excess of 37,000 units, with another â‚Ź1.8bn GDV currently being actively marketed across the continent.

Savills provides end-to-end student housing services across the UK and Europe including Acquisitions, Disposals, M&A, JV equity raising and structuring, Financing, Valuation, Transaction Advisory and Consultancy Services. We are active across 14 European markets with over 20 dedicated experts providing a strong network of professionals with local expertise and market knowledge. We work closely with our clients to unlock opportunities, maximise value and provide long-term solutions. Contact us for all your student housing requirements.

Marcus Roberts Director - Residential Capital Markets +44 (0) 20 7016 3799 +44 (0) 7807 999 187 mroberts@savills.com

James Hanmer Director - Residential Capital Markets +44 (0) 20 7016 3711 +44 (0) 796 755 5897 jhanmer@savills.com

Joe Guilfoyle Director - Residential Capital Markets +44 (0) 20 7016 3767 +44 (0) 779 090 9175 joe.guilfoyle@savills.com

TRANSACTIONS There has been a high number of acquisitions, mergers and transactions between companies in the European student housing market, indicating a growing interest among foreign investors in acquiring portfolios in different geographical areas across Europe. It also indicates the interest of general real estate companies to enter the student housing market. The majority of transactions in the market in 2017 take place in the UK, while it can be observed that British, Dutch and German investors are highly interested to expand in Southern Europe.

One of the largest transactions in the UK’s PBSA sector took place in April 2017, in which Liberty Living acquired a portfolio of 6,500 beds for £460 million. As a result, Liberty Living has become the 2nd largest student accommodation provider in the UK after Unite Students. This transaction comes in the wake of Unite Students’ acquirement of 3,000 student dwellings in Aston’s student village in Birmingham last February for £227 million. To fund the former transaction, Unite Students disposed 13 student accommodation properties including 4,175 beds to a Brookfield-managed fund for £295 million.

In contrast to the UK’s geographically spread market, in Ireland, major transactions are concentrated in Dublin and Cork. In Dublin, a 205-bed UCD student accommodation was acquired by Hines. Meanwhile in Cork, the Square Deal site was bought for €5 million, consisting of a 200-300-bed portfolio. As a result, the active student housing operators in the Irish market consists of a larger variety of investors, including: GSA, Ziggurat, SHC and Hattington Student Housing.

In Germany, Patrizia Immobilien acquired portfolios in Hamburg and Munster. In Hamburg, Patrizia acquired student accommodation from the seller KapitalPartner Gruppe for an undisclosed price, while in Munster, a Dutch investment company sold to Patrizia Immobilien a 6,300 square-meter accommodation including 200 dwellings.

Minor transactions took place in France this year. In Paris, a small-scale transaction

True Glasgow, True Student


Residencia Universitaria Barcelona Diagonal, RESA

took place in February, in which Novaxia Concrete sold two real estate projects to BNP Paribas Diversipierre. The project consists of a 4,128 square-meter former wasteland which was transformed to a student residence of 219 apartments.

Similarly, two small-scale transactions took place in the Netherlands, including a transaction of SSH with a sale of 41, 3-room student flats in Nijmegen, and an acquisition of 108 student rooms in Delft by the Belgian company Xior.

In Sweden, a large-scale transaction took place last June in Linkoping, in which Heimstaden Bostad acquired 1,088 student apartments from the municipal housing company Stångåstaden. The student dwellings are geographically allocated in Berga, Lambohov and Ryd. A smallerscale transaction includes the sale of 305 student homes in Tybble by Obo Student Housing for 125 million SEK.

The student housing market in Spain has attracted a large amount of foreign investment in 2017, with the largest transaction being Greystar's


acquisition of the 9.222-bed RESA portfolio in September. Additionally, the second-largest transaction took place in June, when GSA (Global Student Accommodation) acquired Nexo Residencias, a Spanish student accommodation platform consisting of a 2,200-bed portfolio.

Meanwhile, German investor Union Investments has acquired a student accommodation complex in Graz, Austria. The complex includes 378 fully-furnished apartments between 20-28 sq. metres, communal areas, a music room, study areas and a fitness center. The head of investment manager in Union Investments supports that: “Graz is one of the fastest growing conurbations in Austria and a university city with long-term demand for stylish, high-spec apartments with additional services.”

In Poland, the student housing market in Krakow has attracted the interest of Bouwfonds, which acquired a complex consisting of 146 student apartments and 113 studios, sold by a joint venture between Heitman and Hines. The complex is in the central district, Rakowicka, and consists of 9,200 square meters.

STUDENT HOUSING PREFERENCES Information on preferences of students regarding house-specific and location characteristics is crucial for accommodation providers to attract the largest share of students from the market, as well as providing them with a quality student life. One of the largest student housing architecture companies, Clark Nexsen, identifies large shifts in the preferences of millennial students regarding their accommodation. Students no longer seek traditional dormitories, but prefer a sense of privacy, while the common places of a student complex should provide and promote opportunities to socialize and adopt to the student environment. Furthermore, the importance of technology is emphasized, as it assists studying and improved academic performance. However, students from different countries express different preferences regarding house-specific characteristics of their accommodation. Recent empirical studies were conducted to reveal student housing preferences in 2 countries within Europe, including Poland and Belgium, with theoretically very different markets regarding student housing.

Recent academic research in Krakow, conducted a survey in a group of students, modelling the hierarchy of preferences regarding student accommodation. The research finds that the primary concern of students is the rental cost, followed by the apartment’s quality, location with respect to distance from the university and the city centre, proximity to retail services and lastly, access to recreational activities. 1 Another empirical study in Antwerp distinguishes student preferences between shared and private accommodation. The study reveals that most students prefer private apartments or studios, while the least preferred option is sharing the accommodation with the landlord. Furthermore, the study reveals that the maximum commuting time to the university preferred by students is 15 minutes. 2 Several student surveys over the past year reveal the housing preferences of French students. The findings show that students prefer to live in studios rather than shared apartments, with a sufficient area of living space between 9 and 20 square meters. Of course, the larger the living space, the greater the student preference, however more area consequently comes with higher

Group of people eating pizza and relaxing in living room, Vadymvdrobot


Student Village, Hawkins / Brown

rent. Furthermore, a housing quality survey shows that 2/3 of students in France claim that their house is in very good condition. A regional study for the area of Tours reveals that 65% of students prefer T1 apartments or studios, 11% prefer T2 and 10% prefer to share an apartment. Student rental updates for the UK in 2017 show an increase in demand for en-suite and non en-suite rooms compared to selfcontained studios. This could be the result of higher rental prices of private studios for students, therefore preferences shift in the direction of sharing an apartment. Regarding location, a survey focused in the city of Nottingham reveals that students select central locations as it contributes to less commuting time and proximity to public transport and retail services. In addition, a national student survey from USI in Ireland reveals that long commuting 1


distances have a significant negative effect on the university experience. Long distances are both time and money consuming for students, who are often not compensated for their travelling costs. Housing preferences between private or shared apartments is more equal for Germany, since Studentwerk’s survey reveals that only 57% of students prefer to be accommodated in a private apartment/ studio. An analysis of the Dutch residential market by ING’s real estate department, identifies the primary target group of students seeking accommodation, which consists of internationals and Dutch students which choose not to study in their home province. The main study destinations are further identified, including Amsterdam, Utrecht and Groningen. The report reveals that a future increase in the primary target

Gawlik, R., Głuszak, M. & Małkowska, A. (2017). The Measurement of Housing Preferences in the Analytic Hierarchy Process. Folia Oeconomica Stetinensia, 17(1), pp. 31-43. From doi:10.1515/foli-2017-0003 A. Verhetsel, R. Kessels, T. Zijlstra and M. Van Bavel (2017). Housing preferences amongst students: Collective housing versus individual accommodations? A stated preference study in Antwerp (Belgium). Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 23(3), 449-470.


group is expected for Amsterdam, however a decrease is expected for Utrecht and Groningen. Surveys on Southern European countries mostly research the concept of commuting preferences, and thus reveal the location characteristics preferred by the student population. Overall, it could be assumed that, due to worse economic conditions, students prefer to attend education in their home province and therefore live in their family homes. For the Spanish market, 77% of the student population choose to study in their home province and to live in their family homes. 20% of students preferred studying in a different province, while only 3% of the student population chose to study abroad. These results show signs of self-sustainability in the Spanish education system and local student housing. Similarly, in Italy, surveys show that the largest proportion of local students (65%)

choose to study in their home province and live in their family homes. In contrast, research on Scandinavian student populations reveals that students prefer a strictly private environment. In Sweden, 65% of students prefer to live in private apartments/studios, of which 31% states clearly that the main reason of preferring private housing is that they do not wish to share common living room/bathroom with others. From the 35% of students who prefer shared accommodation, 47% state that the main reason is socializing with others. Similarly, in Finland, surveys show that the highest proportion of students prefer private studios close to the city centre. Research on Chinese students, one of the most frequent origins of non- shows that students abroad prefer to live in shared apartments of 2 bedrooms. Since nonEuropeans arrive in a completely different living environment, a shared apartment might provide them with a sense of security and familiarity.

Luna Residences, Camelot, Eindhoven


Modern student living from Germany to Portugal, and onto Spain! The rapid growth of international students has underpinned the increasing demand for high quality student housing globally, but the race for amenities has moved from the US and UK to the Continent now – with operators across Europe becoming much more sophisticated to attract students. In this fast-evolving sector, young people are in fact much more demanding and selective. It’s not only about the perfect location anymore: on-site gyms, TV and games lounges, study rooms and spacious communal areas are now expected as standard, as well as high-speed internet. #StaySocial #StaySharing Staytoo’s self-contained, fully furnished apartments come with large chill-out areas, in-house gyms, onsite concierge and allinclusive rent – allowing independency and peace of mind for both the students and their parents. They provide more than just a room and a bed: they create a home with safe and welcoming community. Staytoo social areas encourage students to have fun and connect with peers, which will ultimately enhance their academic performance and personal growth. Under the motto “living on your own, while sharing your life”, Staytoo has successfully developed a concept which combines the amenities of a private apartment, together with exceptional common facilities to promote a strong feeling of community and a fun atmosphere. #StayLocal #StayInternational Staytoo has so far developed six properties in the German cities of Nuremberg, Bonn, Leipzig, Kaiserslautern and Berlin, and they directly operate 1000+ beds thanks to the experienced in-house sales and marketing team. On top of more properties in Germany, they’re now looking to expand into other countries, and have already launched a new project


in Lisbon due to open ready for the 2019 academic year. “The lack of quality supply and growing student numbers have driven our attention outside Germany, and we are thrilled to present the Staytoo concept internationally”, said the Rainer Nonnengässer, CEO of Staytoo. Staytoo Lisbon will be located in the Amoreiras district, strategically positioned next to some of the city’s top universities. Several Spanish locations are also on Staytoo’s radar – similarly due to the lack of quality beds in popular university towns. Here, Staytoo will also bring a new concept of student living, far superior to the old university halls or religious residences, which currently dominate the Spanish accommodation offer. With its student housing concept, Staytoo wants to raise the standards of student living across Europe and enhance higher education by providing accommodation that is affordable – while remaining appealing for students and young professionals. Staytoo Apartments is a brand of the MPC Capital Group, which has been operating for over 20 years and has 250 employees worldwide. The group is active in a diverse field of asset and investment management, focusing on real estate, shipping and infrastructure. Specialized in micro-living and student housing, Staytoo is rapidly expanding in partnership with domestic and international investors. Staytoo recently announced its expansion to other European markets. #StayInTouch if you want to become a partner and #StayFollowing to find out more about upcoming plans: www.staytoo.com

Staytoo Apartments, for independent student living in a vibrant community setting! Be part of Staytoo story throughout Europe! Get in touch to find out more: info@staytoo.com /westaytoo



EDUCATION NEWS Due to fierce competition between higher educational institutions, both domestically and internationally, it is crucial for such institutions to invest and continuously improve: by means of supporting local and international students through housing provision and expanding campus facilities and the variety of programs offered. Furthermore, popular study destinations are not only distinguished by their costs of living and housing affordability, but are mostly preferred for their offer of quality in education. For instance, the UK remains one of the most popular study destinations due to its excellent quality in education, despite the continuous increase in the costs of living and the extreme rental prices of student housing. By identifying a relationship between the quality of education and the demand for student housing, it is crucial to examine the most recent trends in university rankings, educational provision and study program preferences within the EU.


Ireland’s universities continue to fall in global rankings due to chronic underfunding. Attempting to form a new model of university rankings, the minister of education proposed the introduction of IEM (International Education Mark) which measures the degree of internationalization in local universities.

Despite the fierce competition from UK higher education, institutions in Germany continue to attract record numbers of international students. As a result, there is a growing struggle to solve the student housing shortage within the country. The German Student Welfare Service (DSW) has made an urgent appeal to federal and state governments for a greater supply of student accommodation. Latest figures reveal 1.1 million affordable student beds for 1.5 million students, which is a sign of serious undersupply in the market. Furthermore, it is observed that 44% of students need more than 1 month of searching to secure accommodation. On the other hand, countries like Belgium have several university towns with student housing vacancies, like student housing provider Eckelmans which claims to have 10% vacancies in Namur and Anderlecht.

To start with, the UK manages to maintain its leadership regarding its quality of education. While recent political trends (i.e. BREXIT) raise concerns about the eligibility of international students into UK’s universities, the government confirms that EU PhD students will continue to pay the same fees as domestic students, having the same access to loan funding and student grants. Furthermore, the university of Edinburgh has recently assured that Erasmus+ students are still eligible for UK universities. Meanwhile, the government aims to double the applications of disadvantaged and ethnic minority students in higher education.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, new legislation might soon allow Dutch universities to expand in providing full-time programmes abroad. Such an accomplishment will help strengthen the international competitive position of Dutch universities.

Similarly, the Irish government spends â‚Ź14 million in attempting to increase enrolments in higher education, while

The increase in Scandinavian university rankings is a sign of increasing competitiveness and interest in this

region. According to the ISB (International Student Barometer), UmeĂĽ University in Sweden is amongst the highest ranked universities for international students, while Karolinska Medical University is the most highly ranked in the Scandinavian territory. Denmark has also taken actions to improve its higher education system over the past year, firstly by doubling the availability of PhD positions, and secondly, by increasing the percentage of students enrolled in English-taught programs, having the highest percentage in Europe (12.4%).

In central Europe, Austria and Switzerland have also promoted the competitiveness of their education systems

in 2017. Austria has significantly increased government spending on education to approximately 2% of national GDP, while the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in central Europe.

Higher recognition percentages can be observed for the Erasmus+ program throughout Europe, with the highest percentages in Belgium (96%), Iceland (93.2%) and Lithuania & Norway (93%). As more educational institutions recognize the Erasmus+ program, it allows higher student mobility and a wider variety of choices for European students.

Students Graduation Success, Rawpixel



A general overview of international student flows in Europe shows that there is a great “brain drain” effect in Northeast Europe, with high skilled students choosing to continue their studies in Southwestern countries. Better quality of living, cheaper costs, the climate and higher quality of education are some of the reasons for which more students are attracted to Southwestern Europe. A high brain drain effect can be observed in Lithuania, where the number of students enrolled in higher education is expected to continue its downfall until 2025.

Student mobility funding is a precise measurement of a country’s willingness and provision to attract international students.


Spain currently has the highest figures in student mobility funding, with more than €47 million invested in student mobility. With large numbers of Spanish-speaking students coming in each year, Spain is also the most popular destination for Erasmus+ students in Europe. The lowest figures of student mobility funding can be observed for Cyprus, Croatia and Bulgaria.

The number of international students has also been rapidly increasing in Portugal, with an increase of 70% over the last 5 years. Portugal continues to attract a large proportion of Brazilian students, with an increase of 14% due to a recent improvement in currency exchange rates. In the meantime, there is a record of international students applying in the Netherlands in 2017, with a total of

Young happy students walking while talking, Vadymvdrobot

Group of international students in lecture hall, Dolgachov

112,000 applications. In addition, there has been a remarkable decrease of Dutch students choosing to study in Turkey by 90%. A slight decrease has been observed among Bulgarian applicants to Dutch universities by 11%, Bulgarian students tend to prefer the UK over the Netehrlands when studying abroad.

However, despite the overcrowded cities and BREXIT, the UK continues to increase its number of international students. London’s student population is expected to increase by 50% over the next 10 years, despite the recent fall in applicants from India of around 9%. On the other hand, it can still be seen that mobility of disadvantaged students in the UK remains at a low level since of the total of 6.6% of students choosing to study abroad, only 1.4% include black-minority students. Figures continue to decline despite all efforts of improvement from the authorities.

In Ireland, the latest figures show an increase of 17% of EU students applying in higher education programmes, while there is also an increase in the enrolment of nonEU students by 9%. Experts support that such trends are directly linked to Brexit.

The Czech Republic has also been a popular international student destination, attracting many Slovaks, Russians, Ukrainian and Kazakhs to its universities. While Polish students choosing to study abroad have increased by 20%, many international students from Ukraine and India are attracted to Polish universities. Since Poland has some of the lowest costs of living in Europe, cost is a primary attraction for many foreign students coming to the country.


INNOVATIONS IN STUDENT HOUSING Even after the latest technological advancements in 3D printing and its application to construction, many more innovations have been observed in the market: promoting sustainability by minimising energy consumption, increasing security, and finding new ways to tackle the problem of overcrowding within cities.

In the UK, ZedPod has developed energy efficient student housing placed on elevated platforms, located over car parking places. The development could be the solution to Cambridge’s housing crisis due to land scarcity, as this form of microhousing uses otherwise unused land and requires no land rights. The “Pods” can be installed separately or attached, forming small student communities. The company plans to provide more than 200,000 units in the future.

Another small start-up company in Storebro, Sweden, develops a new form of insulation and construction technology,


ZEDpods Ltd

able to develop micro-homes mainly targeted for students. With construction cost as much as 30% lower than in traditional construction, the company can develop apartments from 24 to 72 square meters.

Together with Amphiro, Wageningen University, and Sapienza University, The Student Hotel (TSH) has extended its ‘Living Lab’ initiative to raise awareness amongst its residents of water usage to influence water-savings. TSH’s four buildings in Italy (Rome, Florence, and Bologna) will have Amphiro’s smart water meters installed in each of the showers to show residents their overall water and energy consumption. From an initial project in TSH’s Amsterdam City location, there have already been substantial reductions in water usage as a result. Further innovation of student housing development can be the solution to overcrowding, land scarcity and high rental prices, as well as promoting sustainability by continuously decreasing the energy consumption and shifting in the use of renewable material.

The Student Hotel

LEGAL & POLITICAL CHANGES Stricter immigration policies, new safety regulations for student housing, and new regulations on student loans are the latest political trends affecting international student mobility of both EU and non-EU students. Political aspects are currently more or less divided between a more progressive point of view, which supports globalisation and further internationalisation of education systems, and a more conservative point of view, supporting stricter regulations of international mobility, thus acting as an obstacle to students who decide to study abroad. Furthermore, new forms of urban planning are the main point of interest for legislators aiming to tackle the problem of overcrowding and undersupply of student housing within cities.

Despite the well-known political trends in the UK after the BREXIT decision and the increase in tuition fees, university applicants in the UK keep increasing.

However, students are more likely than ever to graduate carrying a loan of more than ÂŁ50,000. Furthermore, politicians currently debate on new student immigration policies which are likely to decrease the degree of openness to foreign students. Regarding the problem of speculative student housing practices, local authorities in Oxford have set new legislations to tackle any speculative acts.

In a more progressive context, smoother Visa process has been implemented in Canada and Australia, making it easier for international students to travel abroad, and thus increasing student mobility. In Ukraine, new rules have been applied allowing Visa-free short-term traveling (90 days) to European countries, boosting opportunities for short-term studies. A recent debate in Ireland suggests allowing an All-Ireland Visa for graduates, as it may be needed to cope with the BREXIT.

Student protest, Alexa Mazzarello


Catalonia, Alberto Estevez

A more progresive point of view can finally be observed in the Netherlands, where the new elected national government comes up with an amibitious roadmap for internationalisation of Dutch higher education. This strategy should enable as many Dutch students as possible to go abroad and radically increase the attractivness of Dutch universities for foreign students.

New safety regulations in Belgium forced several student dormitories in Antwerp to close. On the other hand, the housing minister proposed new lease terms for student housing, allowing easier access and searching opportunities for students in need of a new house.

Furthermore, current debates in Czech Republic and Belarus highlight the need of further internationalisation of local universities and the need for new regulations to fight corruption and


repression, to further integrate with the European education system and to attract more international students.

In France, large subsidies have been proposed for students commuting long distances to universities. This trend is likely to allow a higher capture of the market for local universities as well as incentivise students to apply for higher education despite long commuting distances.

Regarding the refugee crisis in Greece, a European initiative has been applied to fast-track qualifications of refugee students, aiming to provide a clear account of their academic record and thus integrate refugees into the higher education system. This initiative is expected to provide large opportunities to otherwise largely disadvantaged student populations. In August 2017, 44 Syrian refugees have already been enrolled into the education system.

Portugal regional outlook During the past decades, the Portuguese student housing market and higher education system can be described as stagnated, underinvested in and far from achieving a prestigious international outlook. The inflow of international students mainly originated from Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil, Angola and Cabo Verde, while the latest figures showed a slight decline in overall higher education enrollments of nearly 5% during the last 8 years. As of now, there are 119 higher education institutions in Portugal hosting a total of 356,399 students, of which nearly 68% are enrolled in the 15 top-ranked HEIs. Investors faced low confidence and high risk in funding and developing local student accommodation; as a result, students were hosted in older, shared apartments, with most student houses being shared by 5 to 6 people. The recovery Over the last 3 years, Portugal has begun to recover investor confidence, and the numbers of international students to the country has rapidly increased. Currently, there are only a handful of PBSA providers in the Portuguese market including Nine Student Living, Doorm Portugal, and Smart Studios. These providers are rather small, either with a single location or several smaller ones. Moreover, in line with the successes of schemes mixing different resident types together, StudentVille has invested into a hybrid student residencehotel model in Lisbon.

opportunities for local and international students through a higher availability and affordability of student accommodation. In 2017, we have seen a high inflow of outside investors and operators such as Milestone, MPC Capital, Round Hill Capital and Colegiate AC, showing a growing interest in the country. A rapid increase in PBSA developments German real estate company MPC Capital plans an investment of €100 million in developing student residences in Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra, having already purchased their first parcel of land in Lisbon. A new luxurious student accommodation, Collegiate’s first project outside the UK, will be ready to accommodate new students from January 2018 in Marquês de Pombal, Lisbon. The property includes an on-site cinema, private fitness suite, private party rooms, and a library. Lastly, 1,200 additional student residences are also under development in the city of Porto, where the British investors Round Hill Capital and the Saudi investment fund MEFIC Capital have acquired a plot of 78,000 m2 for €100 million. Number of Local & International Students per University ISCTE Uni. Catolica Portuguesa

Uni. Aberta Uni. of Madeira Uni. of Beira Interior UTAD Uni. of Algarve FTE Students

Uni. of the Azores

International Students

Uni. of Evora

At the same time, Lisbon is being lauded as one of the fastest emerging capital cities of Europe. The comparatively low costs of living allows European student housing investors to grasp the opportunity of expanding their business within the country. This also benefits the local real estate market as it recovers, providing

Uni. of Minho Uni. of Aveiro Uni. Nova de Lisboa Uni. of Porto Uni. of Lisbon Uni. of Coimbra



20000 40000 6000 50000 30000 70000


Following the latest trends in the student housing market, Uniplaces claims an increase in rental rates by 10% in Lisbon and by 3% in Porto since 2016, with an average student rent at €415 per month. At the same time, the latest research on student housing preferences shows that students prefer Lisbon as a destination and are prepared to pay higher rents to be there. A milestone in competitive higher education In addition to expanding the availability and affordability of student accommodation, Portugal currently focuses on developing world-class student facilities to meet new European expectations. The development of Nova SBE's new campus in Carcavelos is another step towards quality and international recognition in Portugal’s higher education, as well as a vital advancement for talent attraction. Nova SBE’s ambition is to create a top-class school of economics and management that offers an attractive and modern place for students with the goal of climbing to the top 10 in the European rankings. Indeed, Nova SBE has climbed up 5 places in the Financial Times European Business Schools Rankings since last year, and is expected to increase its competitiveness even more in the future.

According to the latest research by Times Higher Education, the Governmental provision on tertiary education in Portugal reaches 1.4% of national GDP (17% of total spending on education), while the enrolment rate is accumulated at 61.87%. To raise the enrolment rates of international students, the prime minister assures EU rights to British students in Portugal after the Brexit process, and the Portuguese Institute of the Orient has launched new, local support offices for international students. Cost of Living per University p/m ISCTE Uni. Catolica Portuguesa

Uni. Aberta Uni. of Madeira Uni. of Beira Interior UTAD Uni. of Algarve Uni. of the Azores

Cost of living (incl. shared apt. rent)

Uni. of Evora

Cost of living (incl. private studio rent)

Uni. of Minho Uni. of Aveiro Uni. Nova de Lisboa Uni. of Porto Uni. of Lisbon Uni. of Coimbra





Marquês de Pombal - Lisbon, Collegiate AC


€800 €1200 €1600 €1000 €1400


The Nido Collection

Listening, Learning, Innovating Founded in 2007, The Nido Collection was the first student accommodation operator to truly understand the global marketplace. Now 10 years old and with global expansion underway, how does Nido continue to pioneer an everchanging industry? Every student needs a safe, comfortable environment where they can fulfil their academic potential in a new city, but that is just the start of it. What makes time at University so memorable are the lasting friendships and networks that are made, the independence gained and the ambitions realised. We listen to our residents Understanding who our current and future residents are and then putting them at the heart of everything we do is vital, but there is more to the science of success in PBSA than simple demographics. With the rise of the online review culture, engaging openly with our audience on their terms is integral to our approach. We have deployed advanced social listening tools and engage with our residents as frequently as possible onsite and online. Our residents also complete a quarterly NPS survey on all aspects of Nido life. When combined, this gives us the data we need to tailor our facilities, services and events throughout the academic year and beyond. We give them what they want Analysing the data and requirements of each cohort, we have implemented countless changes that satisfy residents and enable Nido to challenge traditional revenue and occupancy boundaries in


The Nido Collection

extremely competitive markets. From simple solutions such as increasing Wi-Fi speed, adding 24-hour security or even buying a ping pong table to full renovation of rooms, gyms, social and study spaces. Moving sometimes thousands of miles away from home to a new city can be an exciting but daunting time. At Nido, we engage and inspire our residents with a year-round calendar of social, career and learning events. With events like our legendary Welcome Parties, Halloween, Full Moon Party, Après Ski Christmas event, Valentine’s and the numerous cultural celebrations throughout the year, our residents mingle, network and make friends for life. No one does events like Nido. But it’s not just the social events. Our learning and career events help our residents adjust to life in a new city and plan for their future careers. From TV and Film Career Workshops with world-famous directors and TV stars, business speaker series with famous entrepreneurs and VC’s to our stress-busting puppy therapy, CV and

Interview workshops, we empower our students and prepare them for life after University. Additional benefits for Nido members include exclusive use of the social and study spaces at any Nido residence whilst they travel or work in another location. The Nido Collection also carefully selects local, national and international brand partners so residents can enjoy exclusive discounts and events. Our residents are very socially aware and demand that The Nido Collection is too. We choose our charity partners annually based on our resident’s preferences, involving them in our social responsibility policy and offering them the ability to give something back to the community they live in. We keep things simple Generation Z is impatient but they want a personalised service. They are big on individuality but globally-mobile. They want value-for-money but have high expectations and they demand social awareness. They have been born into a world flooded with choices and contradictions. Nido is continually finding ways to make their lives easier in the selection, purchase and management of their room.

We identify innovative opportunities The experienced team behind the Nido Collection are from a myriad of backgrounds including hospitality, travel and events which breeds innovation and creative thinking. It’s what makes us pioneers. The Nido Collection now has 10 assets throughout the UK. This rapid expansion is also set to continue into continental Europe through our exciting multi-use development in Porto. This is a unique opportunity to harmoniously blend multiple uses in the largest campus-style project in Porto. We continue to innovate a sector that has evolved from alternative to a mainstream investment class, identifying exceptional returns and future-proofing our brand. We don’t just operate buildings, we build communities and nothing is left to chance.

Our website and social platforms are in a constant state of evolution, adapting to new technologies. Our online sales journey is simple but we have a multilingual sales team on hand to reassure parents and students alike. On arrival, all residents are asked to download the Nido app and update their details to give them access to personalised room and account management whenever they need it. All housekeeping and maintenance requests are made on the app which also has payment management, events calendar, guest register, local discounts, laundry viewer and a 24-hour concierge service. The app can also integrate room management services including lighting, heating and access control. The Nido Collection


partners of the class of 2020




MEDIA partners UN


JOIN THE CLASS OF 2020! The Class of 2020 is Europe’s leading platform on student living. Our vision is for cities to attract and retain the brightest young minds, and for them to lead the way to social and economic success in return. We provide cutting edge research to develop individual solutions for the ever-changing, modern urban landscape. Our in-depth regional sessions, educational workshops, and annual Conference provide our growing network with a stage to identify the current needs and shape the student living of tomorrow. For more information about joining The Class of 2020 contact us at info@theclassof2020.org

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