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London ‘needs more student bedrooms’

Student numbers in London have risen by over 4% annually over the past three years, and there has also been a 40% increase in international students since 2001, says a new report from Knight Frank into higher education and accommodation in the capital.

However the growth in numbers is not being met by a corresponding growth in beds: ‘private sector accommodation is currently smaller than the growth in total student numbers in 2008 alone’, it states. There is also competition from other English speaking locations around the globe and a number of other threats to London’s university sector, a major one being the lack of accommodation.

The report says there are currently 200,000 students in London unable to access purpose-built accommodation. For the foreseeable future the majority of students will live in rented accommodation, which is a threat to the capital’s ‘Global Knowledge Capital’ status.

‘To reach a similar level of provision, London requires at least another 100,000 student bedrooms, the report concludes. ‘Well over ten times the number currently in development. There is clearly scope for a substantial increase in development activity in this sector.’