Universities shift focus to court non-EU students

Universities have rapidly shifted offerings to focus on students from further afield and accommodation plays a big part.

University library - Housing Hand | PBSA News

Most people expected Brexit to impact the number of EU students choosing to study in the UK. However, many weren’t prepared for how big that impact would be. There was a 40% drop in university applications from the EU for 2021/22 undergraduate courses – which saw universities suddenly reassessing the positions when it came to international students.

However, the huge reduction in EU student applications was balanced out by a 17.1% increase in applications from non-EU international students.

“Universities have had to rapidly shift their offering to focus on students from further afield and accommodation plays a big part in that. Students coming to the UK from half a world away are seeking the reassurance of secure, safe accommodation – as are their parents. Yet there are particular difficulties for universities when it comes to housing international students.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

This is where Housing Hand – the UK rental guarantor service – can assist as it acts as a rent guarantor service for international and UK students, offering fully comprehensive cover of rent, damages, and dilapidations for young people who can’t provide a qualifying rent guarantor for their university accommodation. The service benefits all those involved – the student can access accommodation that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to, while the university can rely on receiving full rent payments and knowing that the cost of any damages will be covered.

The Housing Hand team has seen the shift in student applications first-hand. In 2020, applicants for the firm’s guarantor service were led by students from the UK, followed by those from Portugal, then Poland. In 2021, students from the UK still led the applicant numbers, but they were followed by applicants from India and then the United States. Applicants from Oman were in fourth position.

Housing Hand creates a bespoke service for each university with which it works. The recent shift in the balance of international students has driven up interest in this offering significantly. The partnership provides the university with an integrated, co-branded service that they can promote to their students, while students are able to access Housing Hand’s service for a reduced fee.

“Our university partnership service takes the pain out of the accommodation process for all sides. By providing a safe, secure and financially insured guarantor service, we cut out the financial risk to the university. This is particularly important when there’s so much movement and uncertainty in the student market.

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand