The UK has long proved popular with both UK and international students, but as the housing crisis continues, student accommodation is fast becoming thin on the ground.
It has been well documented how students are being forced to seek out housing further afield, while others are dropping out of courses altogether. The impact of the student accommodation crisis is being felt across the country, particularly as many students are on the brink of homelessness.
What is causing the student accommodation crisis?
One of the main reasons behind the accommodation crisis is the growing number of students enrolling in higher education versus the vast increase in living costs. The demand for accommodation is rising but there is a lack of purpose-built student accommodation in the country to meet these needs.
StuRents, a popular student property search engine, has noted a shortfall of 207,000 student beds in the UK. They further forecast that by 2025, the shortage could reach figures of around 450,000 beds.
A strategic approach
While there’s no overnight solution that will house tens of thousands of UK and international students, there is a practical and strategic solution that can go a long way in tackling the issue.
You’re probably aware of the vast rise in commercial-to-residential conversions. As businesses downsize to implement flexible working patterns, unused real estate is being converted to residential properties. The impact is twofold. Property is being put to effective use, and the housing crisis gains an element of resolve.
The same can be said for student accommodation. In previous decades, we’ve seen property owners converting family homes into shared accommodation properties for students. While this remains popular, we’re also seeing a rise in larger properties that are being renovated to create spectacular student apartment schemes.
Maybe it’s a good time to demonstrate how Headoffice3 has been involved in helping tackle the student housing crisis.
The Leatherworks, Leeds
Leeds university is one of the top public universities within the UK. In 2023, it was ranked #86 in the QS World University Rankings. It goes without saying that for a city with approximately 37,000 resident students, accessible student accommodation is integral.
In 2022, Headoffice3 completed Phase 2 of our 457-bed student residential project at The Leatherworks, Leeds. It’s not like any student accommodation we’ve seen before; we’re talking modern, open, and flexible spaces with innovative décor and ensuites for every room!
We designed and renovated the communal lounge with games area, cinema room and study spaces. (Our sister company Tür Offen manufactured all doorsets as well as upholstered banquette and booth seating within a minimal timeframe!)
The ensuites were slightly troublesome due to a lack of space, but with a multi-talented team of experts onboard, we were able to put our expertise to clever use. By creating small and demountable pods that could be placed in each room, we were able to fit them through the doorways with ease.
Though we’re still heavily involved with this ongoing project, the results speak for themselves.
Sheffield University is among the top 50 best international universities in the world, according to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2023. Known as a ‘student city’ with over 60,000 resident students, Sheffield prides itself on having sufficient housing available to its student population.
Headoffice3 was tasked with building 48 student apartments at Fargate, Sheffield and furnishing with basic furniture and fixtures, ready for tenants to move in.
We faced a few teething problems with access routes due to the busy high street shops below, and we were working on a low budget, but the job was completed on time and within budget.
How can Headoffice3 help?
We can help tackle the student accommodation crisis by designing and constructing affordable, functional, and safe spaces for students. Working in close partnership with educational institutions to gain a full understanding of their specific requirements, we can develop solutions that achieve your end goal.
With an in-house team of experts, we simplify every aspect of your project as an all-in-one, design and build team.
As the UK struggles through an economic crisis, there has never been a more salient time to convert and repurpose your property into a usable space. There’s nothing quite like giving new life to old buildings.