Russell Group comments on rising student accommodation costs

26 October 2023

Responding to new data released by Unipol and HEPI on student accommodation costs, Dr Tim Bradshaw CEO of the Russell Group said:

“It is concerning that rent now takes up most of the average student maintenance loan, and without action this will only worsen in the next academic year as maintenance loans for students in England increase by only 2.8%, far below current inflation levels.

“The pressures on student accommodation costs reflect the wider UK housing market and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Once again, our universities will be stepping up support with millions of pounds of extra financial assistance alongside a range of other measures on campus. They are also working to tackle housing pressures in the longer term through city-wide partnerships with local authorities and providers to increase the supply of student accommodation.

“However, it’s clear that additional Government support for students is needed. Maintenance loans should increase in line with actual inflation to ensure loans reflect the real-world costs faced by students.”

Read the full report by Unipol and HEPI.


Other measures that could help those most in need include a review of the parental earnings threshold, which has been frozen at £25,000 since 2008, meaning fewer students are entitled to the maximum level of support each year, as well as consideration being given to the reintroduction of maintenance grants to support the most disadvantaged students.

The University of Bristol has been working with the University of the West of England and Bristol City Council to implement plans for new purpose built student accommodation to increase supply in parts of the city where student housing investment will help regeneration, provide more quality and affordable housing, and to relieve pressure on other parts of the housing market.

The University of Glasgow is also working with the City Council, Scottish Government and others to try and find longer term solutions to housing market pressures, securing more than 800 extra places for this academic year and a further 1,400 additional spaces planned at a total cost of £49m.

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