The student accommodation sector around the world

Becca Mayer

Updated on Feb 20 • 3 minute read

Nowadays, a student has many more expenses than the majority of people would think. Besides the awfully expensive tuition fees, accommodation is most probably the second biggest expense for university students. Our current global situation when it comes to the student accommodation sector is anything but consistent, and it can represent a huge problem even in many developed countries.

In this article, we’ll discuss the student accommodation sector around the world and how various countries are working on upgrading to international standards.

The United Kingdom

Being one of the most popular countries where students all around the world move to in order to continue their studies, the UK is focusing more and more on getting their student accommodation offering right. Actually, in 2019 alone, there is a prediction that there will be around 29,000 more beds specially built for students all over the world. This process is meant to ease the continuing struggle that students have been going through recently, due to the housing shortage that is prevalent all throughout the UK.


It might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but there are around 34 million students in India right now. That means that the number of students in India is nearly the same as the total number of people in Canada. That really is something!

Unfortunately, when it comes to the student accommodation sector, India’s reputation hasn’t been all that stellar, showing a desperate need for new facilities to be built. A recent report conducted shows that there is about a 30-60 percent shortfall in accommodation for the academic sector. Fortunately, over the past few years, necessary steps have been taken towards upgrading accommodation around various campuses up to international standards.

The change won’t happen over the night for sure, but there are currently numerous companies and investors around India, who are working on making the country a second home for international students, and a great environment for the citizens of the country.

South Africa

The situation in South Africa has been under construction for the past few years. Back in 2017 CampusKey, a student accommodation provider, announced that by 2019 there should be around 10,000 beds made available for students around the world.

The overall situation in South Africa is better than most people would expect. The aforementioned CampusKey offers living spaces that are often compared to hotels. But that’s not the only competitor in the market, given the fact that there’s quite a lot of companies who want to take the lead; like Respublica, who plans to provide more than 20,000 beds for students by 2020. These amazing signs of progress, especially in South Africa, show that a difference is actually being made, in every corner of the world.


In Canada, the situation is more and more promising. The student accommodation sector has become a point of interest for higher-net-worth investors around the country. There’s a common practice nowadays for investors to buy buildings close to campus and fill them up with students.

Some investors in Canada won’t necessarily buy student condos in a big city; they usually go for small cities where the condos are cheaper, and they can still charge as much as they would have charged in Toronto, for example. This is not convenient for students, but it’s still better for Canada, a country that has seen big changes in the student accommodation sector over the past 20 years.

Overall, when it comes to the student accommodation sector, the situation in every country is pretty different, but there are also similarities. The UK is fixing their housing shortage as quickly as possible, while the situation in India might take a decade to be resolved. What is important to note, that there is a common drive, an initiative that is being pushed along to be able to offer an educational hub for students from all over the world. Of course, there are countries that are not as popular among international students, which aren’t burdened with the issue. But in the case of the four countries mentioned above, and many more like them, there will most probably always be some sort of issue in the student accommodation sector.

People are building every day, making it easier for students all over the world to focus on their studies, given the fact that organizing accommodation can become a stressful experience, especially for most foreign students. However, all signs point towards things only getting better; and in ten years, even the countries with the biggest problems in this sector, like India, are expected to incorporate a much better housing offering for international students.

This article has been written by an external contributor: Becca Mayer. Thanks for your desire to work with us and provide insights on the accommodation sector for our global readers. Becca is a 27-year-old writer from Edinburgh. The topics she likes to cover are mostly around education and student housing as she developed an interest in that over time. When she's not travelling and writing, she loves to dance.

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