The recent governmental changes in regards to the amount that universities in the UK can charge annually for their courses, was initially predicted to have a negative impact on student applications. Yet in reality, the figures reported by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) for the 2012/2013 academic year (the first year in which the tuition fee rise of £9,000 came into effect) only show a 7.4% drop, something which universities are keen to highlight as an indication of the strength of British Institutions.
As reported recently in The Guardian[i], numerous institutions have in fact noticed an increase in the number of applications, including the University of West London (up 8%), Keele University (up 2% in core subjects) and the University of St. Andrews, who has recorded an impressive rise of 17%.
“…our comprehensive support and bursary package … make sure we can still attract the brightest kids, regardless of circumstance”, says Julie Ramsey, Director of Admissions. “The new UCAS stats mean we’re looking at an average of 10 applications for every place”.
Even with the decline, the number of places available at higher education institutions still currently outweighs the amount of applications received. Figures collated in March 2012 show that there are already 80,000 applications ahead of the number of acceptances in 2011, indicating that the demand for Higher Education in the UK is by no means waning and consequently, demand for student accommodation is on the increase.
A Rising Asset Class!
With yields averaging 6-6.5% across the country, student accommodation developments are currently the hottest investment opportunity in the UK. Assured by rewarding rental yields and high occupancy rates, buyers are confident in the strength of the market and are continuing to seek out high-end, boutique-style projects, like those advertised through specialist companies like Knight Knox International.
Offering a combination of refurbishment and new-build projects, companies such as Knight Knox International are attracting a plethora of new and existing buyers with assured yields (Yr 1) that are at least 3% above the industry average, due to the quality of the developments in their portfolio.
With the UK Higher Education system still highly oversubscribed and showing no signs of stopping, investment in this sector is anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future.
[i] Taken from The Guardian Higher Education Supplement, 8th February 2012
*All figures correct at time of publishing. Please contact Knight Knox International for specific financial information on individual products.
By Samantha Jones