The number of international students choosing to study in the UK is set to increase faster than overseas student enrolments anywhere else in the world outside of Australia.
International student numbers are expected to rise by 10 percent over the next decade, according to a recent British Council study.
By 2020, the UK is forecast to see an increase of 30,000 international students enrolling on UK university courses, the only country to beat that number is Australia with 50,000 overseas students by the end of 2020.
According to a Times Higher Education news article, India will overtake China as the leading country for sending students abroad. India currently has a total of 39,000 international students studying in the UK compared to 67,000 Chinese nationals.
The UK is expected to reap the rewards of a decade of opportunity in global higher education. Jo Beall, director of education and society at the British Council commented: “Our study shows the next 10 years are critical – the UK has a decade of opportunity ahead of it if its universities, colleges, business leaders and policymakers are ready to take decisive steps to engage with the global higher education market.”
The British Council study, titled ‘The shape of things to come: Higher education global trends and emerging opportunities to 2020’, shows the predicted figures are higher than Britain’s higher education competitor the United States. The reason behind the prediction is that Britain benefits from its links with rapidly growing countries, particularly India.
The UK is in a strong position to strengthen its place as one of the world’s leading study destinations, especially when it has five of the top twenty universities in the world.
The recent study has spurred a flurry of property investors who are keen to purchase student accommodation with the good news that more international students are heading to the UK to study.
There is currently a limited supply of purpose-built student accommodation in Britain and the rising global interest in the UK’s educational excellence will result in strong rental growth in the sector.
There has been a very clear trend in the growth of students travelling abroad to study over the last ten years and the number of students leaving their own country to study at university is set to double.
The good news for property investors is that the rise in tuition fees will not affect international students as they already have to pay them. The international fees charged in Britain are also competitive on a global scale, for example the US has the highest fees at around £21,000 – £25,000 per year.
Higher education in the UK is very competitive compared to other parts of the world and boasts some of the best universities which will attract thousands of international students every year.
More and more investors are taking the opportunity to purchase student accommodation. According to Knight Frank, average rents for apartments and en-suite rooms in regional areas rose by four percent and total returns were 10.5 percent.
The undersupply of student accommodation puts student property in high demand and the rental growth is expected to rise even further next year, showing five percent like-for-like growth in London and other regions across Britain.
Overseas students tend to choose purpose-built accommodation in Britain for reasons including security, location and facilities. If you purchase a student property close to a university, it will most likely be rented out straight away due to the high demand of such properties.
We foresee this demand to continue to grow as global student mobility increases further. Student property has performed very well as an asset class compared to traditional investment in the past year and outperformed every other commercial property class.
Student accommodation has delivered continuous returns throughout the global economic downturn and this is set to continue in years to come.