Student accommodation
The availability of student accommodation appears to have not kept up with rising international student numbers. Source: Ludovic Marin/AFP

International students in the UK are reportedly having trouble finding quality accommodation. As in-person learning resumes, students are rushing to find housing hotspots or student accommodations. Sanam Arora, head of student association NISAU, told The PIE News that high demand around housing is an emerging issue but could become serious over the coming weeks.

There have been reports this month of UK universities housing students in locations away from their campuses to cope with demand. “The top most concern we are observing amongst Indian students coming over to the UK to study is finding good accommodation. Anecdotally I can tell you we are observing that compared to previous years, this issue has certainly increased,” Arora was quoted saying by The PIE.

Arora said that NISAU has partnered with a university accommodation provider to address the issues students are facing. “Clearly, the numbers of Indian international students coming to the UK has significantly increased and I’m not sure if the supply of accommodation has kept up with that,” she said.

Among the issues faced by international students include finding two sets of accommodation as private landlords aren’t necessarily allowing them to stay in their rooms to quarantine.

student accommodation

International students in the UK are reportedly having a tough time finding student accommodation as unis resume on-campus learning. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

International students likely to live in purpose-built student accommodation

In London, rental properties in South Kensington, Sloane Square, and Earl’s Court around Imperial College London are being snapped up by students flying in

Amelia Greene, a director at Saville’s, told Bloomberg that agents have seen rental applications double in the past few weeks. An estimated 70% of them are for international student housing. “It almost feels like we’ve got two years’ worth of students all wanting to move in September,” Greene commented. This spike in rental demand has driven rent up 15% in the past two months, according to David Salvi of London estate agency Hurford Salvi Carr. 

HEPI director Nick Hillman told The PIE that securing accommodation can be a different experience for international students relative to home students saying they are less likely to live in shared student houses and more likely to live in purpose-built student accommodation.

He advised international students to start searching for accommodation as soon as they know they need it, and to speak to the university accommodation office and to look at the availability of private purpose-built student accommodation.