International students in accommodation - new survey

16 May 2023      Jan Capper, CUBO Executive Director

Universities are being sought to take part in a survey by Unipol and m.e.l research in early summer 2023, which seeks to better understand the experiences of international students in accommodation.

Both undergraduate and postgraduates will be encouraged to take part and over 15 universities have already agreed to support the survey including Sheffield Hallam University, University of Leeds, Leeds Trinity University, De Montfort University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Bradford, Nottingham Trent University, Bournemouth University, University of Manchester, University of Glasgow, Portsmouth University and the University of Greenwich.

The survey looks at how the accommodation sector has been affected by the large increase in international PGT students, particularly those students arriving from countries such as India and Nigeria, who are more likely to bring dependants and to be looking for lower-cost accommodation options.  Significant numbers are reporting challenges in finding accommodation or living in temporary accommodation, impacting on their studies and access to other services.  

Unipol’s HEPI blog, The latest developments in student accommodation, March 2023, gives more context to this growing issue. 

The survey will look at entry point (September or January) to see if there are any notable differences in students’ experiences across a number of areas:

•            Pre-arrival and challenges with finding accommodation on arrival
•            Students with dependants (Family and childcare)
•            Accommodation shortages
•            Current living arrangements (temporary or permanent for period of study)
•            The type of accommodation and if this was by choice or necessity
•            Commuting
•            Overcrowding
•            Affordability and cost
•            Part-time working and finances

This research will provide useful evidence of any challenges that students are facing, enabling institutions to improve communications to incoming students as well as understand what support current students need.  

The survey will launch in late May and run until mid-July.  Interested universities should contact Unipol's Assistant Chief Executive - Housing Hub Services, Nicola Brown:

0113 205 3410 (Monday – Thursday)

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