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Students in Purpose Built Student Accommodation report higher grades and greater well-being

8 Jul 2019
  • Students living in PBSA in their first year report they are 26% more likely to achieve top grades¹ than those living in halls of residence and 15% more likely than those living at home
  • Those living in PBSA in their first year are almost twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with their physical health (60%) than those living in halls (32%)

Research released from Octopus Real Estate, part of the Octopus Group, reveals the significant difference student accommodation has on academic performance and mental and physical health.  

The Student Accommodation Impact Report, which surveyed over 1,000 students who currently attend or have completed a degree at a British university, reveals the importance that students’ environments can play on final results, with PBSA leading the way. Academic performance is becoming increasingly important with the backdrop of rising student uncertainty, higher debt levels and a tough job market.

Increased health and well-being

Student well-being is playing a significant role in the mental health discussion in the UK, with students recognised as vulnerable to isolation and facing social, academic and financial pressures. The Octopus Real Estate report highlights the higher levels of well-being experienced among students in PBSA. Students in their first year are more likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with their mental health (34%), compared to those living in halls (23%). This trend continues throughout students’ years at university.

The value of a technology-enabled environment

Better technology facilities within PBSA clearly contributes to student contentment and academic performance. Four in ten first year students living in in PBSA rated technology as ‘excellent’, compared to less than a quarter in halls of residence. Access to top tech facilities appears to have a strong bearing on grades. On average throughout the years at university, students who achieved top grades (over 70%) are almost twice as likely to have prioritised the use of technology when choosing accommodation (21%), compared to those who achieved 69% in their grades or lower (13%).

Gavin Eustace, Head of Residential Development at Octopus Real Estate commented:

“Purpose-Built Student Accommodation accounts for under a third of the market¹, but the sector is growing strongly and offers a huge opportunity for developers. We’re proud to champion this sector, as demand for specialised student accommodation continues to rise. At a time when the job market and financial pressures for students are so high, developers are making a positive impact with PBSA on student academic performance and health.”


Notes to Editors

Research methodology

This research was conducted online from 30th April to 9th May 2019 by FTI Consulting’s strategy & research team with n=1,105 students (aged 18 to 25 years old), who presently attend, or have completed an undergraduate degree in a British university.

Results were weighted to be reflective of Higher Education Statistics Agency 2017 figures for gender, university attended and region of students’ origin.

¹Top grades = students who reported an average percentage score of 70% or over

²UK Student Housing Update, Knight Frank, 2018-19

For journalists in their professional capacity only. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. We do not offer investment or tax advice. Issued by Octopus Real Estate. Octopus Real Estate is the trading name of Bridgeco Ltd (Reg No 6629989), Fern Trading Ltd (Reg No 6447318), Nino Ltd (Reg No 9015082), Octopus Property Lending Ltd (Reg No 7531926) and Octopus Co-Lend Ltd (Reg No 8913299), Registered Office: 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT, registered in England and Wales. Octopus Property is a trading name of Dragonfly Finance S.ar.l. (Reg No B189290) Registered Office: Parc d’Activité Syrdall, 6 Rue Gabriel Lippmann, L-5365, Munsbach, Luxembourg registered in Luxembourg. Octopus Property Lending Ltd and Octopus Co-Lend Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Issued July 2019.