To understand the challenges and preferences of students moving abroad for higher education, University Living, a leading global student housing platform, conducted a survey, which revealed interesting insights. Through its observations, University Living saw a significant spike in the overall traffic from January to May 2022 in students looking for accommodation. There was a 2.5X increase in April and a 3X rise in May 2022 compared to the same time last year.
University Living’s analysis found that the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and Ireland are some of the most popular countries among students choosing to move abroad to pursue their higher education. Besides, the platform also saw that finding suitable accommodations near their campus, financial constraints, language barriers, culture shocks, and remittance/current bank accounts are some of the common challenges students faced.
Through its survey, the student housing platform noted that only 1 out of 6 students find accommodation in university halls/on-campus accommodation, although this data varies for each country. Additionally, compared to the time of University Living’s inception in 2015, when the percentage of students opting for PBSA (Purpose-Built Student Accommodation) was at 8%, it has gone up to 22%, with an estimated 40% opting for this in the next 3-4 years. Interestingly, University Living also revealed that local educational government bodies prefer that international students live in PBSAs as they are more spacious, efficiently run, sustainable and reduce carbon footprint. From a student’s perspective, they offer more value for money, a better experience and environment, and more exposure as kids from various nationalities and cultural backgrounds stay together.
Furthermore, in terms of each country, the survey/report showed that Canada is still a supply-constrained market while the USA has more accommodation options, although the rising popularity of Ivy League universities is increasing the demand. Similarly, in the UK, some cities like Coventry are over-supplied by student accommodation, while some like Nottingham see high demand and limited supply. The Indian market, on the other hand, according to the platform, is far more fragmented, although there has been immense progress in recent years.
Saurabh Arora, Founder & CEO, University Living commented, “Each year, there are thousands of students moving overseas for their higher education, and most of them face some common challenges. University Living was founded to offer them all-encompassing services that will make their study abroad experience smooth, seamless, and convenient. Our survey and analysis reveal in-depth insights into the challenges and preferences of students, which will allow us to cater to them more effectively. We also have ambitious plans for the coming year and some exciting things happening. We will be sharing them soon.”
Having interacted with over 6 million students and booked over 7 million nights across 265+ educational hubs, University Living crossed USD 300 million in GMV. For the next year, the platform plans on reaching USD 10 million in revenue while expanding its footprint in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia, among other countries. University Living also has a 10% market share worldwide with a 35% share in India – something it plans on increasing to 50% by the end of 2023. The platform will also be hiring for various functions as it grows.