Surprising results in student accommodation survey

The views of parents versus students reveals some unexpected answers when it comes to university accommodation

A new survey, released just in time for the accommodation scramble after clearing, has revealed a surprising divide between what students want from their future accommodation and what their parents hope for. The survey, undertaken by asked 1500 students and their parents for their main considerations in choosing the perfect digs.  The result revealed some surprising differences. 

Students’ primary requirements were:

• Bright room with en suite bathroom
• Fast Wi-Fi
• Clean kitchen
• A good gym
• Friendly hall mates

Whereas the parents were most concerned with:

• An active and popular student bar
• Varied groups and societies to join
• Good security
• Good sporting facilities
• Proximity to local nightlife

‘It’s fascinating to see how parents are so keen to ensure their kids have a great social life at university, whereas it’s the students who are interested in great looking accommodation that’s safe, connected and practical,” commented Dan Roberts, Director of

Finding the right accommodation immediately becomes the biggest priority after securing a place at university and achieving the right balance between cost, facilities and the proximity to university makes the decision a tricky one to take, especially if the chosen university is miles away from where the student currently lives. allows students to search and compare private student halls across the UK.

“We obviously want a safe environment but for me the priority is that my daughter has a great time at university. The kids have worked so hard to get to where they are, it’s really important that they have a life while up at university, these should be some of the best years of their lives,” commented Lucy Lane, mother of three whose eldest daughter, Ella, is about to depart for university.

Security, internet speed and effective places to study all scored higher than bars and sports facilities amongst the student surveyed.

In 2015 just over 64,300 students found courses through the clearing process which means a huge number of students are going into the accommodation hunt quite late. Whereas in 2016, 18 year olds from England, Scotland and Wales were more likely to apply to higher education than in any previous year, as application rates at the January deadline were at the highest levels recorded – 37 per cent in England, 33 per cent in Scotland, and 32 per cent in Wales. In Northern Ireland, the application rate in 2016 was 48 per cent, the same as in 2015, and the highest on record.

“It’s my first time away from home so I really want somewhere that’s safe, clean and has all the facilities that I need to study. I don’t really want to share a bathroom but I think I probably will have to,” commented Ella Lane.

‘These results clearly show that the students today are living in very different times from their parents. Today’s students know how difficult it is to succeed beyond university, they do not have that sense of entitlement that perhaps some of their parents had when a degree went a long way to securing a job. Students are now very focused on making a success of their university time, and it seems securing the right place to live and study is all part of that big plan,” commented Dan Roberts.

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