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Universities: Is the standard improving?

Universities: Is the standard improving?

Statistics have been released this week to suggest that more university students than ever are achieving top results.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency released their yearly report earlier in the month, detailing how well UK universities are performing and how well their graduates are performing in terms of results.

According to their data, more than 100,000 students graduated with top honours degrees, marking one of the best results seen.

It also revealed that there was a steep slump in the numbers of part-time and mature students in higher education, with European and international student numbers increasing slightly despite Brexit fears.

The key points from the report were that:

• The number of first year students undertaking postgraduate taught courses in 2016/17 was at its highest point in 10 years.

• Since 2012/13, there has been an upward trend in the number of first year students taking first degrees.

• The number of first degree qualifications obtained has increased each year, with the exception of 2014/15 which is likely to be related to the drop in first year students in 2012/13.

The news is seen as extremely positive, with the number of first-class degrees awarded increasing to 101,000, 26% of the total.

In 2012-13, 18% of undergraduates received firsts, or nearly 70,000 in total. It marks the first time ever that more graduates completed university with top class honours than those achieving second class degrees. The report also revealed that around half of students received upper seconds (2:1s), a proportion that has remained stable for several years.

It marks great news for the increasing number of student landlords and those invested in student pods as student numbers continue to i9ncrease along with the quality of courses and education received.

Profits, yields and capital appreciation from student accommodation has been rising quickly since it saw its popularity spike following largescale investment from hedge funds, large developers and international investors, seeing it propelled into the forefront of property.

In areas such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and London activity has increased sharply with projects being announced on an almost weekly basis to see student pods developed from buildings such as old hotels, old apartment blocks and other various types of property.

With increasing quality in education this reasonably translates into more popularity with UK students keen on studying at universities that can provide the best career prospects and the most respected qualifications across Europe and the world.

Similarly, international students are applying in ever higher numbers keen to gain their experience from some of the leading universities in the world, rivalled only by those in the US.

Oxford and Cambridge sit 1st and 2nd in the Times Higher Education global rankings respectively, meaning that the top two places in the world go to UK universities, with five UK universities making up the top 25.

This quality of education has meant that developers have had to offer some of the best accommodation in the world to meet the demands of wealthy international students as well as money savvy British students in order to provide the an excellent studying experience.

Features such as communal studying spaces, high speed broadband, gyms and other technical advancements are now the standard in most Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) with the trend for party all night students now significantly on the decline as the cost of study makes failure the least desirable outcome.

With students routinely leaving university in up to £50,000 of debt, there is little room for mistakes and although cities like Manchester, Leeds and London offer the nightlife and culture to entice anybody, accommodation is being forced to provide the quiet and stimulating study facility to enjoy some peace.

As the quality of UK university education continues to soar along with the provision and quality of its accommodation so too does the popularity of investing into student accommodation, with developers offering high returns and stable management.

There is no reason to suspect that this trend will end any time soon.