Student accommodation and student choice

Universities have benefited from delivery of new residences on campus and many factors are involved in who to work with and what to deliver next

Student accommodation is one of the past decade’s most invested in assets. Its development is intrinsically tied to the development of the university sector overall. It is key in attracting international investment interest and provides institutions with a unique competitive advantage. Universities are now expected to offer high quality accommodation at a range of price points, and through the duration of the recruitment cycle including clearing.

Students’ expectations of accommodation are rising in line with consumer behaviour and the rise in tuition fees, which has led students to become consumers of goods, services and experiences. Accommodation providers, university and private sector, appeal to students through the promise of safety, wellbeing and fun, with prominent brands and universities pastoral care roles elevating bricks and mortar to one of a young person’s rights of passage.

Having the right accommodation aids the recruitment of students, putting the development of this infrastructure firmly at the heart of university strategy. Universities have benefited from delivery of new residences on campus, working alone and harnessing private sector investment, and many factors are involved in who to work with and what to deliver next.

Helping the market to provide what universities need and enabling the right choices are the speakers and panellists at the Henry Stewart conference on ‘Student Accommodation – where we are and where it’s going’ on 23 September at The Hatton, London EC1N 8HN.

The conference is particularly intended for the providers of student accommodation, higher education estate directors, private sector investors, developers, banks and other financiers, planners, advisors and consultants. As conference chair Sarah Jones, Partner, Public Sector Advisory Team, UK Consulting at Cushman & Wakefield says: “It’s for the people who make the market, who make the important choices and have to live with the consequences. Good information, including market knowledge, is the greatest protection against making mistakes.”

Topics covered include hard data on market trends, the sources and nature of demand, capital values, income and yields, investment appetite and who’s investing, ongoing management, the standards now being demanded, sources of funding, new build and upgrading and portfolio planning.

As Patricia Connelly, CEO, Henry Stewart Conference Studies says: “No important area will be overlooked. Case studies demonstrating ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of projects will be presented and discussed. The community wants hard data to support important decisions. We are here to satisfy that need.”

Full details of the one-day briefing can be accessed at

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