In the summer of 2011 the government released a Higher Education White Paper “students at the heart of the system” three years on it is interesting to see what has happened to university education in the UK since the paper was announced. With the paper, the Universities Minister, David Willetts, said:
“The Government will reform the financing of higher education, promote a better student experience and foster social mobility. Our overall goal is a sector that is freed to respond in new ways to the needs of students.
“Responding to student demand means enabling a greater diversity of provision. This may mean more higher education going on in a wider range of different settings, such as Further Education colleges and other alternative providers offering innovative types of course.
“We must move away from a world in which the number of students allocated to each university is determined in Whitehall. But universities will be under competitive pressure to provide better quality and at lower cost.”
Tuition fees, amidst strong protests, rose to a cap of £9,000 in 2012 and it is interesting to see how this has affected the decision to continue into further education. The UK still enjoys an excellent reputation for providing first class university education. In comparison to other countries around the world, the fees in the UK appear to be competitive by comparison and this seems to be true with a high number of internal students attending UK universities. Recent reports suggest the average cost of studying at a four-year private (non-profit) university in the US is now US$28,500 per year, and well regarded universities such as Cornell are charging undergraduate tuition fees of $47,050.00 per year for 2014/2015.
The UCAS end of cycle report for 2013, however, provided some key findings firstly that “… in England the proportion of the 18 year old population entering higher education (the entry rate) increased by 1.6 percentage points to 30.3 per cent, the highest entry rate ever“. In addition, UCAS statistics confirm they “placed 495,600 people into higher education in the 2013 cycle, an increase of 30,700 (6.6 %) and the highest number recorded. This increase comes almost equally from an increase in applicants (3.6 % to 677,400) and the largest increase in over a decade in the proportion of these applicants accepted.”
Fears of a decrease in student numbers with the 2012 rise in tuition fees seem to have been unfounded and with numbers set to be uncapped, popular universities will continue to attract good numbers of students. Therefore in certain locations there is a strong and sustained demand for good quality student accommodation and this is an area that those looking to achieve high yields from UK property investment should give serious consideration to . Student accommodation investment can attract good returns on investment and can be affordable with good properties starting from around £55k For assistance in finding the right student property in which to invest please contact us.