Data released today by Student.com, the world’s leading marketplace for overseas student accommodation, indicates that the UK continues to be an attractive study abroad destination for European students post-Brexit.
Enquiries from European Students almost Triple
Enquiries from European students regarding UK accommodation listed on Student.com almost tripled during September to December 31st 2016, compared with the same period a year earlier. This is broadly in line with the increased demand Student.com is experiencing from students all over the world, indicating that despite the Leave vote in June 2016, European students are continuing their search for accommodation in the UK.
Enquiries were received from over 30 different countries across Europe, with most enquiries from students in France (28%), Italy (15%), Spain (15%) and Germany (12%).
London continues to be the most popular destination city for European students, with Glasgow, Edinburgh and Nottingham in second, third and fourth place respectively.
|Top 10 Cities: Sept-Dec 2016||Top 10 Cities: Sept-Dec 2015|
|1. London||1. London|
|2. Glasgow||2. Edinburgh|
|3. Edinburgh||3. Manchester|
|4. Nottingham||4. Birmingham|
|5. Birmingham||5. Glasgow|
|6. Manchester||6. Liverpool|
|7. Liverpool||7. Bristol|
|8. Bristol||8. Oxford|
|9. Cambridge||9. Cambridge|
|10. Sheffield||10. Nottingham|
Data collated from 18th September to 31 December, since 18th September was the check-in date for students starting their course in 2016.
Luke Nolan, Founder and CEO of Student.com, said, “Though it’s clearly early in the season to make conclusive statements about European enrolments, this could be encouraging news for European student flow to the UK this year. While London’s universities continue to be the most popular choice for both European and Asian students, we are delighted to observe increasing interest in the best of Britain’s university towns.”
Impact for Universities
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reports that 436,585 overseas students came to the UK to study in 2014/15. The majority of these students are from Asia, however 124,575 (28.5%) are non-UK European Union students. HESA states that most overseas students pursue studies in Business and Administration (38.4%), with Engineering and Technology second (33.1%), and Law third (26.3%). HESA notes no significant difference in the gender of non-UK students coming to the UK (Male 51%:Female 49%). Student.com enquiries are also split evenly between male and female students.
Despite this year’s government guarantee on fees and loans for European students, the British Higher Education sector has expressed significant concern over the potential drop in European applications on the heels of the Brexit vote. Both government policy on European students, as well as overseas admissions data will be under intense scrutiny over the next few years.
Commenting on the Student.com data, Jeremy Burgess, Associate Director, International Office at the University of Nottingham said “The University of Nottingham and, indeed, the city itself are truly international and cosmopolitan, and the part played by our European students in enriching both the academic and the wider community cannot be underestimated.
“For example, in 2014/15 our international students spent more than £130m on goods and services, supporting 2,200 jobs. Our strong links with institutions and organisations throughout Europe together with our long-standing reputation as an academic powerhouse has helped us to maintain high levels of interest across the European region,” he adds.
“We cannot presume this pattern will continue but in the short-term this is a positive piece of news. It is especially pleasing that this survey’s results show the city’s popularity ranking rising from tenth to fourth. Last year the University celebrated Nottingham’s deep roots in and ambitions across education, research, culture, sport, business and global connectivity at Nottingham in Parliament Day. This data suggests that students, as they so often are, are already attuned to this.”
Joanne Purves, Director of Global Engagement at the University of Sheffield said, “EU students play an important part in the academic and cultural life of the University of Sheffield and we are delighted that while their funding is still assured they are demonstrating confidence in the quality and attractiveness of the UK education system. The benefits they get from following a degree in the UK will continue to be as relevant after we are no longer members and we will work hard to articulate that to future students.
Impact for the Purpose Built Student Accommodation Sector
Student.com listed 90% of the UK’s Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) properties on the site during last season, so this latest data could be seen as an encouraging indicator for the sector. Due to strong demand from students and investors, PBSA supply has increased in recent years. According to Savills, the sector now houses a third of all full-time students in over 550,000 purpose-built beds, and demand continues to outpace supply in many towns and cities across the UK.
Nathan Goddard, Global Head of Supply at Student.com, said “It’s early stages in the game, given there’s no tangible impact to European student fees or loans yet. However, what this data does indicate is that Brexit hasn’t had a significant impact on European student interest in UK accommodation. This can only be good news for Britain’s PBSA landlords”.
Student.com is the world’s leading marketplace for international student accommodation. The company seeks to simplify booking accommodation for international students through a free-to-use global marketplace which puts security and ease-of-use first. Every landlord listed has a contractual relationship with Student.com, ensuring additional security and peace of mind, and students have access to local knowledge of destination countries, as well as a team of multilingual booking experts. Student.com lists properties in over 400 cities across 29 countries. To date, the company has raised $70 million from investors including VY Capital, Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Hugo Barra of Xiaomi and Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital.