600,000 foreign students in the UK by the 2020s but where will they all live?

27th April 2015

600,000 foreign students in the UK by the 2020s but where will they all live?

The UK’s universities are renowned across the world for the quality of education they provide and the employment prospects they generate for those students who work hard to gain their qualifications. Students come from a wide range of countries in order to study in the UK with Home Secretary Theresa May revealing that foreign student numbers are predicted to hit 600,000 by the 2020s.

Currently, just over 300,000 foreign students attend universities in the UK, according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Overseas students pay more than British students do to attend university here, sometimes up to three times as much, so the increase could signal a big boost in income for the UK’s higher education sector.

While this is excellent news for the UK’s universities, which draw in the brightest young talent from across the world each academic year, it is not without its logistical complications, as Eri Cuanalo, CEO of innovative student accommodation provider Collegiate AC, explains,

“Increased student numbers are great, but they do present certain logistical issues, such as where to house them all? The UK is already suffering from a lack of decent student housing and the prospect of providing as many as 600,000 homes for foreign students by the 2020s can see a little daunting at first. However, with the right strategic approach the UK can ensure that it benefits from this increase in numbers and that all those who choose to study here from overseas are housed in good quality accommodation during their university days.”

Good quality accommodation for students is certainly something that Collegiate knows a lot about. In just a couple of years, the company has grown from having its first student accommodation site to having 21 sites, spread across 11 UK cities. Collegiate’s focus is on providing luxury accommodation that uses space cleverly in order to provide students with high end, en suite accommodation ranging from studios to ten bedroom cluster apartments.

Collegiate’s buildings benefit from a range of features designed to enhance students’ lives, including dedicated desk areas, high speed broadband, Wi-Fi and reading/common rooms to ensure they have the tools needed for their studies. For leisure time, features such as private gyms and on-site cinemas ensure that residents can relax and socialise with their peers.

Many of Collegiate’s developments are already home to students from abroad, as their prime locations in leading UK university cities mean that the apartments are highly sought after. For those who are coming to the UK from overseas, Collegiate works to ensure they settle in comfortably, offering services such as airport transfers and welcome packs to make the transition to student life in the UK as smooth as possible

Collegiate is also flexible about those who wish to stay in the same accommodation during the summer, rather than flying home, offering the option to extend residency contracts over the summer months.

With 21 sites already in operation and another nine planned to open shortly, the company is confident that the UK will be ready for the 600,000 foreign students by the 2020s. CEO Eri Cuanalo concludes,

“Though there is a shortage of good quality student accommodation in the UK right now, it is a sector that many investors are turning to as a result of the healthy returns that are on offer. If we can keep up this pace of developing high spec, desirable student homes in leading university cities then we should find that there is a home for every student, from the UK as well as abroad, by the time the 2020’s arrive.”

For more information on premier student accommodation from Collegiate, email tenants@collegiate-ac.com or call 01235 250 140.

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