Last Thursday was A level results day and as students discovered their results, more of them than ever before had already secured a place on a degree course. In line with the government’s policy There are an extra 30,000 university places available this year and it is expected that for the first time over 500,000 places will be allocated for courses this autumn. These statistics and the potential increase in the student population are an excellent and persuasive argument for those looking to invest in student accommodation.
As of the 14th August UCAS advised that 396,990 students had already been accepted onto UK undergraduate courses, which is an increase of 11,090 (3%) on last year. Interestingly 352,590 students have secured their first choice of course. UCAS predict that for the first time, numbers of students going to university or college to study a degree could top 500,000 by the end of the cycle. In addition to these numbers there were as at the 14th August there were still 103,970 students awaiting results or decisions, 5% more than this time last year.
Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive, said: “Today’s numbers are a reflection of the continuing strong demand for higher education. A combination of extra places available and the falling population of 18 year olds means that students are in a good position to secure a place this year.”
For school leavers planning to go to university, this could be a good year to apply, with the additional 30,000 places creating a “buyer’s market” in which universities are competing to attract students. In addition students who have achieved better grades than they expected, can trade up to different universities or courses. To complete the student experience they will be seeking good quality student accommodation with a good management service and high speed Wi-Fi etc.
The increase in those applying to attend university or similar educational institutions, has increased despite a fall in the overall number of 18-year-olds, indicating that the percentage of sixth formers going into higher education is also increasing.
Greg Clark, the new universities minister, said: “Record numbers will get the chance to go to university and that is a transformational experience and they deserve our congratulations. What we’ve been determined to do is ensure that there is a place at university for all those that have the aspiration and capability.”
This year has seen the beginning of the uncapping of student places, with the number of places that universities can offer by increasing by 30,000, which has lead to increased competition between institutions and more places on offer. Students will look at the whole student experience the course the university facilities, student accommodation, research grants and also employment rates past graduation.
In certain areas there is still a need for good quality student accommodation and investors in student housing can look at the opportunities offered by off plan student properties including conversion properties. Some investors may prefer completed student apartments, which can provide a more immediate income stream. Investment Property Consults have access to completed projects including established developments with a proven track record