The number of international students in Europe has been on the increase according to the Institute of International Education, driving the student housing market into high demand.
Real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), says 2.6 million more beds are needed in European hubs to meet student needs. Yet, many of these cities lack the type and quality of PBSA found in the United Kingdom.
Whilst demand will be inevitably be fulfilled with different housing options in each region, new PBSA will follow updated guiding themes, identified by JLL as wellbeing and community, digital acceleration and collaboration.
Wellbeing and community
University is not merely about taking classes, but is the centre piece of what’s generally regarded as the ‘student experience’. For many, it is the first time moving away from home and tasting independence. But beyond the classroom, students want to build meaningful connections in places that support their needs.
The specifications and amenities of new PBSA buildings will therefore become even more crucial to young people. From gyms and sports facilities, to study rooms and social spaces, students want to develop personally, whilst simultaneously building community.
Digital integration and acceleration
The fast-paced nature of modern higher education and daily life requires that students are connected to technologies that stimulate and support their involvement in the wider world. PBSA that builds on this to leverage the latest technology will set themselves apart from other providers.
Strong and fast internet, as well as functional and empowering digital services are necessary to ensure students can be productive and in control of their studies.
Given resource limits and Covid-induced delays, the element of collaboration is key not just for students, but for businesses. With student demand for housing still high across Europe, different components of the student accommodation sector will have to work together to provide rooms at a larger and faster scale. Collaboration is needed especially between private sector operators, investors and developers.
In the longer term, opportunities for collaboration may open between investors and universities to create more streamlined and integrated services for a better all-round education experience. Thus, partnerships between different actors will be necessary to forge ahead in the PBSA space, ensuring that high quality and cutting-edge student housing will become the norm.
Read more on JLL.