Student feedback gathered from the latest wave of the Global Student Living Index (2023 Q4) in the UK & Ireland and in Europe, has highlighted the best performing universities and private student housing operators when it comes to supporting students through the booking process and settling into their new accommodation.
As we recently reported, the Latest student accommodation data shows overall improvements in the moving-in experience, which is great news for both students and operators as the evidence is clear that early experiences play a critical role in students’ sense of belonging, retention and satisfaction.
A record 40,000 students across more than 200 universities and colleges took part in the GSL Index survey which measures all aspects of the student living experience. Data from this ‘entry’ wave of the survey is used to calculate the Best Booking Experience and Best Moving In Experience categories in the Global Student Living Awards for the UK & Ireland and for Europe. Feedback gathered in the upcoming ‘exit’ wave will determine the Finalists and Winners of all other award categories. Winners of all awards will be announced at a glittering black-tie Awards event on 17th October in London.
Meet the finalists
As a third-time finalist for Best Moving In Experience (Europe), CampusX are flying the flag for Italy, with operational sites in Rome, Florence, Bari, Chieti and Turin.
A spokesperson commented:
“Good things come in threes! After last year’s win, we couldn’t be happier to be shortlisted for the third time in the Best Moving In Experience category.
The support of our students is the proof of the fact that we always put one main goal first, a challenging but rewarding one: to make them truly feel at home even miles away from home.”
Collegiate AC Group
The European arm of the Collegiate student housing brand is a 2024 finalist for both Best Booking Experience and Best Moving In Experience, showing strong support for crucial early student experiences.
A spokesperson for Collegiate commented:
“Collegiate Milan North sets the standard for excellence, emerging as a finalist for the prestigious GSL Best Booking Experience and Best Moving-In Experience Awards in Europe. Elevating the student accommodation experience, it’s a testament to Collegiate AC Group’s commitment to providing unparalleled comfort, enhancing students’ wellbeing and supporting their studies.”
Edge Hill University
A finalist in multiple categories in 2023, Edge Hill are once again finalists in the Best Moving In Experience (UK & Ireland) category for 2024.
Adrian McGillion, Director of Facilities Management, said:
“We are thrilled to be in the running for Best Moving In Experience because the whole Facilities Management team puts so much effort into making sure every student’s time at Edge Hill gets off to the best start possible.
“It’s a real honour to be shortlisted for an award which is voted for by students, it’s a clear sign that our hard work is having a really positive impact.
“We want to make sure their moving in experience is seamless and enjoyable, particularly because for many of them this will be their first time living away from home. We want to reassure them and their supporters that we will look after them while they are here at Edge Hill.”
The early student experience begins long before arrival, and the team at Hello Student have clearly invested well to achieve their status as 2024 Finalists in the Best Booking Experience category for UK & Ireland.
First time Finalists in the Best Moving In Experience category for Europe, Micampus’ explosive growth in recent years clearly hasn’t hindered its ability to deliver positive early experiences for its students across Spain and Portugal.
Following on from their Best Private Housing (Europe) win in 2023, Nido are finalists in the 2024 Best Moving In Experience category for Europe for the second year in a row reflecting strong performance across the company’s European operations which now extend into Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.
A spokesperson for Nido commented:
“After winning Best Private Housing (Europe) in 2023, we are delighted that our efforts in prioritising student experience have continued to be recognised by our customers this year. To be a finalist is a testament of the hard work and dedication of our Nido teams in creating welcoming and inclusive communities for our residents from the outset.”
Prime Student Living
After winning Best Booking Experience for the UK & Ireland in 2023, Prime are Finalists again in this category for 2024 reflecting consistently strong performance.
A spokesperson for Prime Student Living commented:
“Prime Student Living are absolutely thrilled to be a finalist for the Best Booking Experience award for the second year in a row. Having won this award in 2023 we are delighted our customers have once again recognised the hard work and effort we have put into making their accommodation booking experience as easy as possible. Students are at the heart of everything we do, and it is an honour to be recognised by those who call us home.
“We strive to make finding and booking student accommodation that meets students’ needs within their available budget straightforward, transparent and stress-free. it should be exciting, rather than daunting and difficult. Everyone in the team has had a part to play in contributing to this accolade and receiving recognition from our customers is the most valuable feedback we could receive – Overjoyed!”
Queen Margaret University
Serial Finalists and multiple Award winners Queen Margaret University are finalists again in the Best Moving In Experience (UK & Ireland) category. Given QMU’s track record in the Global Student Living Awards, we can expect to see them announced as Finalists in more categories in July, after the ‘exit’ wave of the Index has completed.
After being Finalists for five European Awards in 2023 (winning Best Individual Property), Resa are Finalists again in the 2024 Best booking Experience category for Europe.
Student Castle Property Management Services Ltd
Student Castle PMS operates both the Student Castle and Capitol Students brands, and this is the second year in a row that they have achieved Finalists status in the Best Booking Experience category for UK & Ireland.
The Winners of Best Booking Experience for Europe in 2023 are Finalists again reflecting strong and consistent performance across the FIZZ portfolio which extends across Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
After winning one Award (Best Student Wellbeing) and being Finalists in two other categories in 2023, this year is off to a great start for UU, as Finalists in the Best Moving In Experience (UK & Ireland) for the second year running.
University of Derby
Winners of two Awards, and Finalists in a further three in 2023, the University of Derby Student Living team are Finalists for the third year running in the Best Moving In Experience (UK & Ireland) category for 2024.
Steve Ward, Head of Accommodation Services at Derby shared shared some of the secrets to their success:
“We know that moving in can be a potentially stressful and emotionally charged experience for residents and their families, so we go the extra mile to give students the best possible start to their University journey. We recruit extra helpers and ‘welcome heroes’ on the day to give assistance and reassurance to new arrivals. We also try to anticipate any issues before people move in and provide detailed pre-arrival information, so everyone knows what’s happening and feels in control. It’s really satisfying to see it pay off when new students meet for the first time and there is a friendly vibe around the place.”
University of Lincoln
Double Finalists in 2023, University of Lincoln are Finalists again for 2024 in the Best Booking Experience category for UK & Ireland and will be hoping to earn Finalist status in other Awards categories when they are announced in July.
University of Liverpool
After winning Best Customer Service (UK & Ireland) in 2023, and being Finalists in three other categories, University of Liverpool are Finalists again in 2024 for Best Moving In Experience. With more category Finalists being announced in July it remains to be seen if last year’s successes can be repeated, but it’s a strong start to the year for the team in Liverpool.
Xior Student Housing
Finalists for Best Booking Experience (Europe) for the second year in a row, Xior will be hoping to convert this into a first win at the Global Student Living Awards in 2024.
The only operator so far to be Finalists across both UK & Ireland and European award categories, Yugo are up for Best Booking Experience (UK & Ireland), Best Booking Experience (Europe), and Best Moving In Experience (Europe).