As outlined in my previous blog
, planning for future student housing needs can be challenging for both local authorities and HE providers alike.
Whilst plan-makers can draw upon sub-national population projections (amongst many other sources) in developing strategies and targets for the general housing market, no equivalent database currently exists for students. In addition, the reduction in public funding for universities and the removal of caps on student numbers have led to a drive in student recruitment, particularly international students.
These challenges are likely to be most pronounced within areas experiencing significant student growth. As demonstrated in Figure 1 below, a total of 15 local authorities across the UK experienced growth of over 10,000+ full time students between 2000/01 and 2014/15.
In addition to student growth, the proportion of students requiring housing will also be influenced by the number of UK students originating from outside the host region, as well as the number of EU/international students. The top 15 local authorities for each are outlined in Tables 1 and 2 below:
This would suggest that those local authorities in particular that are experiencing high growth, and those attracting high numbers of students from outside the region/international students, may benefit from additional purpose built student accommodation in order to reduce pressures on the private rental market.
With the growth in student numbers expected to rise, the need to balance student numbers with accommodation capacity will undoubtedly continue to present a range of challenges. Understanding some of the drivers behind this growth as outlined above, will therefore be a key factor in interpreting the numbers of students requiring housing and the type and scale of impacts on the local housing market.
Further analysis of these trends is covered within our BeDSPACE methodology, helping local authorities, developers, property agents and HE providers in planning for student accommodation. For more information, see our BeDSPACE flyer