Archive | January, 2012

UCAS application numbers show 7.4% drop for UNITE Group

31 Jan

UNITE Group revealed UCAS student application numbers for 2012/13 yesterday, which confirmed a 7.4% drop in applications and met previously announced expectations of a 5-10% fall.

583,546 students applied for university places in 2011, compared with 540, 073 in 2012.

The student accommodation group said they do not expect the decline in applicants to translate in actual student numbers, and remained confident of achieving a rental growth of 3-4% for the year. The reduction in applications means that 2012/13 numbers are broadly in line with those of two years ago, for the 2010/11 academic year.

University places have continued to outride supply by approximately 32%, which means 156,000 students will fall short of a place. UNITE conducted research in December 2011 for 2012 applicants which showed 79% of students were willing to pay an increase on tuition fees for good academic reputation.

Whilst the number of UK applicants has decreased by 8.7%, non-EU students continue to see the appeal of UK universities, as figures show an increase of 13.7%. International students are a key customer segment for UNITE, and this continuing trend supports the Group’s business model and customer acquisition strategy.

UPP wins bidding battle, securing £230million deal with University

22 Jan

The University of Reading will see its entire on-campus accommodation run by a private student accommodation provider in a £230.1 million deal.

UPP will manage 4,321 rooms under a 125-year agreement in the largest single private residential investment into a UK university. This will consist of the operation of 2,623 rooms of existing accommodation, for the 2011/2012 term, followed by a further 898 rooms currently under construction. 650 new rooms will be developed to complete the project.

The company work with eleven other universities, yet this deal is unique in its time scale – usually such agreements operate between forty and fifty years.

Acting vice-chancellor of Reading, Professor Tony Downes, said he was “delighted” with the deal, and believes it will add to the “high quality experience at Reading.”

The majority of the funding will be provided by Aviva, the UK’s second-largest insurer, marking its first large scale investment into the Higher Education sector.

Sean O’Shea, chief executive of UPP, said: “This deal shows that the higher education sector is bucking the trend, and is an attractive opportunity for investors.”

Mr O’Shea said the deal represents investor confidence in the Higher Education market during such turbulent economic times.