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CUBO survey suggests 100,000 students could still be in university accommodation

04 June 2020  
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A snapshot survey conducted by CUBO on 20 May 2020 suggests there could be more than 100,000 students still resident in on-campus accommodation across the UK.


Some 69 universities - 42% of higher education institutions in the UK - responded to the survey, reporting a total of 43,495 students still living in on-campus accommodation. While this equates to an average of 630 students per institution, there is considerable variance, with individual universities reporting numbers ranging from 0 to 4000.

Students have remained in their term-time university accommodation for a variety of reasons, including inability to travel home, estrangement from home, personal choice and Government guidance to remain in situ after the lockdown.

The percentage of international students within this cohort again ranged widely, from 1% to 86% and averaging out at 52%. International students who were studying in the UK when the pandemic developed have been particularly affected by travel restrictions imposed by their home countries and the UK.  

Also among those reported as still resident are 76 minors, and 4224 EU students, equating to about 10% of the total.

“While this is a snapshot, it does suggest that more than 100,000 students may have remained in university-managed, purpose-built student accommodation during the lockdown,” says Jan Capper, CUBO CEO.

“Universities are providing essential services to these students, including ramped-up cleaning, ongoing maintenance of buildings and security. Catering is now provided mainly in take-away form or via online shops, with a knock and drop service or similar for those who are self-isolating. Welfare support and residence life services, both vital for student wellbeing, have moved online, and we have seen universities adapt fast and provide excellent information and support to those still in their residences.”



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