The golden era of Student Accommodation has taken off in full flight and there is no sign of it coming to a halt anytime soon.
Gone are the days of dingy bathrooms, rusted cookers and mouldy carpets as students now welcome fully facilitated studios, 24-hour security, communal areas and high speed broadband. Investors, developers and accommodation management operators have all stepped up their game to cater for the needs and wants of the world’s growing student population. A major factor behind this is the rising number of overseas students studying abroad. The chance to study abroad has never been so open to students, this once in a lifetime opportunity has seen students grabbing the opportunity with both hands.
The prospect of embracing a new culture, making lifelong friends and of course living independently has seen a soaring rise in applications to Universities and colleges worldwide. As it will be the first time for many students to live independently, the student’s safety is a high priority for their family. Parents are willing to pay above the price to ensure the safety of their child’s well-being. Their families expect safe accommodation where the receptionist knows them by name, encourages their studies and can help the process of them fitting in to a foreign country.
Student life today is not like previous generations know it. No longer just a bed and a toilet, in today’s student rooms a student can expect to find a fully equipped kitchen, en-suite bathroom and a flat screen TV.
These tailor made rooms are no longer branded as just a single room or a studio, they each now have individual names such as Gold en-suite and Bronze studio to add to their prestige. The introduction of such rooms has seen a drop in demand for shared houses. The loss of popularity came about as they do not accommodate the high level of facilities which students are now expecting.
Today, education is key, as more and more people are attending college and university which has led to stiffer competition in the workplace. To compete there has never been a higher emphasis on the continuity in education. This has led to a rising number of Postgraduate students such as Masters and PhD students which has stifled a demand for accommodation that is focused on comfort, space and location. The prospect of living in a cheap grotty gig does not appeal to these young professionals, instead they are looking to have the crème de la crème by living in top tier properties. This is coupled with the need to remain connected in an ever changing world. The students of today are increasingly seeking faster internet connections coupled with devices that offer 10 times the processing power of their predecessors.
Within the last 5-10 years’ millions of pounds have been invested into the Student Accommodation sector in the UK and it is only now that we are starting to see this spread throughout Europe into countries such as France, Germany and Holland. The sector holds huge potential with Investment groups, developers and accommodation management operators all merging to take full advantage of this golden era and together build a brand new student accommodation empire.
The advancement of the furbished student complexes has been boosted by the capabilities of today’s technology. Innovative technology has been a major driver behind the engine of the sector’s prosperity as this has enabled student accommodation operators to showcase the viewings of their properties and rooms via video, Skype and faceTime. This form of viewing has become very popular especially among students who are looking to study abroad. By virtually seeing their potential new home, students can capture a great insight and feel of the room and most importantly be reassured that the room description is as described.
Ultimately, it is clear that the student accommodation sector is rapidly changing. At the forefront of this change is an increasing amount of investors partnering with developers and accommodation management operators to create desirable complexes which meet the demands of today’s student population. It is inherently evident that part of the factors contributing to the growth of the student accommodation sector globally is the increasing requirement for third level education. In many ways the Bachelor’s Degree has become the educational norm with student’s seeking the higher levels of education. Truth be told – an increasing number of students are now seeking to attain the PhD level of education. When one considers the fact that the commitment for such an undertaking is between 4 and 6 years, it is possible to suggest that this has a knock on effect for the requirements of housing complexes. Finally, it is certainly evident that the capabilities of technology have increased substantially. This has resulted in the student being able to review a potential home without leaving the comfort of their current one, leading them to ensure that they are getting the comfort, quality and standards that they have come to expect.
This is a guest post from Jamie Westerman, from TCASonline.com.
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I'm the blog editor for Uni Baggage! I write about university life and all things student related.