Coming of age: student accommodation across Europe

The European student accommodation sector is experiencing solid expansion. This surge is driven by rising enrolments and an influx of international students seeking quality accommodation in the UK. Simultaneously, demand in continental Europe is spurred by rising domestic attendance and growing internationalisation, amidst sustained growth in English Language Programmes.

University students today are not just seeking a bed to crash in; they are in pursuit of affordable, amenitised living spaces that foster a sense of community and enrich their university experience. This trend is reshaping student living to emphasise relationship-building, collaborative study environments and a supportive social framework that extends beyond the traditional confines of a dormitory room. 

The purpose-built student accommodation sector (PBSA) has arisen to meet these demands. Previously, in the post-war mass higher education model universities were the primary provider of student accommodation. Today, PBSA provision is increasingly delivered and managed by specialised investors with sophisticated operating platforms and strong links to universities. Starting in the 2000s, UK has been an early mover and is today the most mature market globally, together with the US and continues to see sustained growth. In 2022 alone, the UK market grew 7.5%, with 717,000 beds in PBSA buildings.

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Supporting documents

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