The number of undergraduates continue to rise in the UK, but how will this affect student property investment in the future?
- There was a 3.2% rise in the number of British students attending university this year
- The rise in tuition fees appears to have no long-term impact on student numbers
- Student property investment will need to reflect next year’s demand-driven university system
Almost 14,000 more UK students enrolled at British universities in September, according to the latest figures from admissions group Ucas.
The count means the number of domestic undergraduates has increased by 3.2% to total 447,450, while nearly all UK universities have displayed no long-term decline in admissions since tuition fees increased to £9,000 in 2012.
Russell Group universities continued to attract a high domestic intake, with the University of Liverpool recruiting 525 more UK and EU students than it did the previous year and a total of 900 more than in 2012. The current intake of 4,415 is 250 more than even 2011 figures.
The University of Exeter now has an intake of 4,880, which is 46% higher than 2012 levels, while the University of Bristol recorded an intake of 4,580, which is 20% higher than in 2012 and 38% above 2011 levels.
Many universities were able to maximise their intake with an additional 30,000 student places made available prior to next year’s abolition of student number controls.
The switch to a demand-driven system is one of the reasons that student property investment will continue to be one of the UK’s highest performing asset classes. Accommodation that is in close proximity to the more popular universities in the UK will see a rise in demand, securing occupancy levels for the future and driving value for investors.
However, as university life becomes more demand driven, investors should opt for accommodation providers capable of delivering a full university experience, as these will appeal to a generation of more discerning students.