Students Feed UK Property

Large numbers of international students already make up a significant portion of demand for UK student properties. The UK is an increasingly popular choice for foreign students who choose international study, and the government is actively trying to make sure this trend continues.

It now looks entirely possible that, in the near future, an influx of even greater numbers of foreign students will drive higher-than-ever demand for student property investment in major university towns.

Recent research has found that international students are drawn to UK universities and have high levels of satisfaction with their experiences. The University of Exeter emerged top of the pile in terms of satisfaction, but a number of universities across the country were also shown to be performing extremely well.

Overall the StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards surveyed just short of 7,000 students across Europe who were studying internationally, and found that the UK is a very popular destination. Certificates of Outstanding International Student Satisfaction were awarded to five UK universities and a gold award was given to the University of Exeter. Other institutions which did not match these achievements still delivered very respectable scores.

It is little wonder, therefore, that even larger numbers of international students are expected to come to the UK in current years. Assuming this prediction proves true, it will leave a significant impact on the student property market. In most major university towns and cities, for example the student properties in Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester, the market is already seriously under-supplied and demand is therefore high. New developments and increasing investor interest are doing little to dampen the situation, and if international student numbers continue to grow this could see demand levels climbing very high indeed.

It is not just the UK government that is striving to bring in international students. Other nations’ governments are also encouraging their students to look overseas when choosing a university, and with high satisfaction levels the UK is well-poised to reap the benefits. Germany, for example, hopes that by 2020 it will see half of all students heading overseas. According to the German Academic Exchange Service’s Sebastian Fohrbeck, this is a way to develop “political and economic networks worldwide” and ensure that graduates are “internationally qualified.” Germany is not the only nation to hold this view.

The study not only identified high levels of satisfaction among foreign students studying in the UK, but also established that satisfaction is a key consideration for many students in choosing an international place of study. With international students poised to play a key role in driving demand, this suggests that choosing locations for student accommodation investments according to student satisfaction is an advisable strategy.

The role of international students in the current market also emphasises the need for quality. Students in general are becoming increasingly discerning, and international students are often most willing to pay extra in order to get a higher standard of living in a better location. For example, foreign student demand is a key factor behind the continuing rise of purpose-built student property, which often offers premium living standards in prime locations.

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