The latest Student Accommodation Survey by Knight Frank has revealed that overall, students living in Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) are the most satisfied with their university accommodation.
The survey collected data from 60,000 domestic and foreign students that live and study in the UK. It explored various topics that related to student accommodation, including student satisfaction and student wellbeing.
In their survey, Knight Frank found that an overwhelming number of students were satisfied with their accommodation, however, PBSA saw the highest level of satisfaction amongst students. Out of all the respondents that lived in this type of accommodation, 78% said that they were happy with where they were living. In addition to this, the number of students living in PBSA developments had increased by 8% from the previous year. Although still positive, students living in privately rented accommodation felt slightly less satisfied with only 71% saying that they were happy with their accommodation. It was also found in the study that PBSA was still hugely popular amongst students from overseas. In the survey, 93% of students chose to live in PBSA compared to just 64% of domestic students.
Knight Frank also compared student satisfaction between key cities across the UK. Overall, Sheffield saw the highest level of satisfaction, where 95% of students living in PBSA developments were happy with their living situation and 89% of students living in a private house-share were satisfied with where they were living. Other top cities for satisfaction in student accommodation included Nottingham, Leicester and Nottingham.
As well as looking at student satisfaction throughout the market, Knight Frank also looked at the attributes and the facilities that students look for when choosing their accommodation. The top three attributes that students looked for was a high-speed internet connection, large bedroom and an on-site gym - the majority of students said that they were prepared to pay a premium on these features. The survey also looked at the wellbeing of students and what accommodation developers can do to ensure that students are happy during their stay. The results suggested that a lot of students liked their accommodation to be sociable. In the survey, 81% of respondents said that they liked to have organised clubs or social event, as it was a good way to reduced loneliness and make new friends. 77% also believed that high-quality communal areas also improved social interaction within developments. A large portion of students said that they also liked to have staff on site for security and support. 71% said that they would also like to have an on-site counsellor or ‘wellbeing rep’.
Judging by this survey, students have higher expectations from their accommodation - no longer is it a place for students to simply sleep and study while they’re at university, they also need their accommodation to provide a place to relax, socialise and exercise all in one place. It’s clear that PBSA is offering students more than other forms of accommodation, which means that now is the perfect time to invest.
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