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Increasing graduate retention rate applies pressure for build to rent housing

Many students across the country received their A level results last week a key role in the step towards a new chapter in their lives by deciding on which University to go to. Many of these universities are placed within the UK’s major cities and all offer their own unique value to the students and student housing is often a hey driver in property investors avenue into the market. But where are the cities in the UK with the highest graduation retention rate and what is making these cities so favorable for retaining their students?

Birmingham sees a sharp rise in retention rates

Despite the pandemic, a record number of applications were accepted to universities this year and international student enrolment increased to its highest ever level. London is known for being a net exporter of students which then reverses upon graduation as many people flood back to the capital for graduate schemes or a job within one of the world’s largest cities. However, as investment has been growing outside of London in the past the retention of students in these areas is growing fast with it. London leads the way with a 67% graduation retention rate followed by Edinburgh at 53% however Birmingham has seen a sharp rise as this number increased from 40% in 2020 to 46% in 2021 due to students seeing the investment that has gone into the city centre and opportunities have increased along with the HS2 scheme. Northern cities also performing well include Manchester (43%), Sheffield (40%) and Liverpool (38%). Studies show that aside from the future employment opportunities the access to vibrant, modern, amenity-rich housing for workers is a key factor in retaining students within the city and this is why the drive for new build to rent housing continues to be in heavy demand throughout the rising cities across the UK.

Outlook for student housing is promising

The dramatic events in 2020 have changed the way students learn with a pivot to online learning the main drive by the government was still to keep students in education no matter the consequences as it was seen to be a vital part of the battle out of the pandemic. Many universities are still battling the tough times from the pandemic and are worrying about the number of students who will be coming to live and learn on campus however even throughout the pandemic the accommodation sector at universities should feel proud of the support it has received from students who have lived through these times in student housing and continued to support the sector immensely. A major factor in the student’s well-being is the quality of living that new-build accommodation has to offer and the studies show that there is a growing sensitivity to quality to help keep student’s long term. Engaging learning areas and communal spaces within the accommodation helps to bring the students together and build a home away from home which is the essence of the highest quality new builds that are adapting to the everchanging market and offering tenants the facilities which are more equipped for the working from home life. 


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