Student Accommodation - Where We are Now and Where it's Going


6 CPD Hours

Course Faculty:

Sarah Jones, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield
Andrew Smith, Partner and Head of the Public Sector Advisory Team, Cushman & Wakefield
David Feeney, Associate, Student Accommodation, Cushman & Wakefield






  • Hard data: the market today, trends and predictions.
  • Demand: for what, where and from whom. 
  • Capital values, income and yields in all market and geographic sectors.
  • Investor appetite: who and for what.
  • Case studies: of challenges faced and met.
  • Management, standards of accommodation, refurbishment and upgrading. 
  • Finance: sources and terms.
  • Portfolio planning: fit for purpose, high yield, low risk and meeting current and future needs - approaching the ideal.


Detailed, practical analysis of all the relevant issues:

Data – where we are and what the future holds

     - Research: the statistics and the insights they reveal
     - Trends and predictions
     - Demand analysis – understanding the market, occupation and investment
     - Room demand vs capacity vs student numbers and types
     - Market drivers and engines of change
     - Emerging patterns in student estate provisioning

Capital values, income, yields and growth

     - Real world case studies of values, yields, growth and selection of sectors and regions
     - Cities, towns, universities and colleges – what investors need to know

Increasing the value of assets, making the most of opportunities

     - The demand for flexible social, study and living space
     - What students need
     - What students expect
     - What students want
     - What universities should aspire to provide
     - How the university, in its entirety, benefits by getting student accommodation right
     - Portfolio planning – the need to create and invest in ‘fit for purpose’ accommodation that meets current needs and is future proofed

Delivering through partnerships and joint ventures

     - The options of university – private company JVs
     - Obligations and returns: what goes in (money, risk, management, expertise) and what is delivered
     - ROIs to seek and accept
     - Getting the risk and reward balance spot on
     - Real world case studies of JVs: transactions and market evidence analysed
     - Current activity – who is partnering with whom and why

Sources and terms of funding and drivers of engagement

     - Sources of finance for development and investment
     - Terms – duration, cost
     - Equity and investment funding – providers and their anticipated returns
     - Management contracts – agreements, capped rents and direct let

The role of technology and digital 

     - Who wants what and why
     - What it costs to provide
     - What it does for demand – capital values, income and yields
     - Challenges for management and the costs of remaining ‘state of the art’ 

Investor appetite 

     - Comparisons with other sectors:
          - Build to rent
          - Care homes
          - Retirement and social housing
     - Perceptions of risk

Management decisions strategies and challenges 

     - Delivering a vision of ‘accommodation in support of education’
     - When to refurbish/upgrade
     - When and how to ‘rationalise’
     - Options to repurpose
     - Transition to workplace accommodation
     - Real world case studies of what’s been done


For all: Providers of university housing/onsite campus accommodation, higher education estate directors, private sector investors, developers, banks and other financiers, planners, advisors and consultants.




Cushman & Wakefield is a market leader in the provision of Student Accommodation services in the UK. Our expertise is unique in that our client base and experience consists of all those involved in the student accommodation marketplace – universities, investors, developers, operators, as well as local and central government. Our data driven in-depth analysis and deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing the student accommodation and wider Higher Education sector enables us to provide market-leading, actionable advice. As a full-service provider, we are involved in all stages of the property life cycle including market targeting, demand & supply assessments, investment, valuation, development, funding and real estate strategy.