Student accommodation in the UK ELT sector report published
8 July 2024

Student accommodation in the UK ELT sector report published 

Student accommodation shortages have made headlines in several international study destinations, including the UK 

Among the key challenges for the ELT sector are sourcing host families and finding practical alternatives in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) 

A critical need for data

English UK has commissioned BONARD to survey member language centres. The research aims to map the UK ELT accommodation offer and better understand how any shortfalls affected our members' operations in 2023. 

A lack of suitable student accommodation negatively impacts student experience and recruitment, damaging the UK's reputation as a study destination. Our report will inform decisions on the actions English UK can take and support our campaign work. The findings are based on 91 responses from a UK ELT sector sample representative. 

Popularity of different accommodation types 

95% of the respondents offered accommodation services and confirmed that homestays were still the most popular option, closely followed by residences (PBSAs). Rooms in hotels and shared houses or apartments were the preferred option for fewer than 2% of students. 
Restrictions on student intake 

Two-thirds of respondents said they had to restrict their student intake due to housing shortages. If the beds had been available, they could have enrolled an extra 6,600 students in 2023. The shortfall was particularly high for beds in residences (3,815), followed by homestays (3,358). 

Regional differences and future predictions 

Accommodation shortfalls were unevenly distributed in the UK, with the South West and the Channel Islands the worst affected and Central England and Wales the least. 

The picture for 2024 is unclear. Few respondents (17%) expect the availability of homestay places to return to pre-pandemic levels, and most (75%) predict increased student demand for residential accommodation. 
Next steps 

The report ends with recommendations on how English UK can work to improve the situation. We have formed an accommodation working group to review these recommendations and will update members on our progress.

Download the full report Members Corporate members (member login needed) 


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