As Newcastle City Council toughens its rules on student accommodation we take a look at where the city sits nationally

 

Newcastle’s seemingly ever growing student population has led many to claim that the city is at saturation point.

So much so that earlier this month Newcastle City Council adopted tough new rules to prevent student “ghettos” developing in the city.

But where does Newcastle sit nationally? In the last 15 years higher education numbers have risen by 16% from 1.9 million in 2000 to 2.3 million in 2015.

In Newcastle full time student numbers have risen by 68% between that period from 25,271 to 42,565.

The Uptin House student scheme which is proposed by Newcastle's Adderstone Group
The Uptin House student scheme which is proposed by Newcastle’s Adderstone Group

Larger student numbers obviously means an increase in student developments – in 2014 around 550 new student beds were being created per year, that figure had risen to 2,000 last year.

In total, 12,000 beds purpose-built blocks have been created over the last 14 years.

At present 38% of the city’s student population are able to access purpose-built student accommodation.

This puts Newcastle ahead of London, Manchester and Birmingham for its student offering – but behind Durham, Liverpool and Leeds.

A recent report commissioned by Newcastle City Council explained that the reasons for this growth include the expanding international student market and in 2014 the Government lifting the cap on student number intakes for each university.

This all added to the year-on-year rise in student numbers attending the city’s two universities.

The Clavering Place student accommodation in Newcastle which has been completed by Robertsons Construction
The Clavering Place student accommodation in Newcastle which has been completed by Robertsons Construction

Future growth trends are difficult to predict with any certainty. But there are a range of factors that could impact upon the future growth in full-time student intake numbers.

These included uncertainty surrounding the impact of the UK exiting the European Union on the international student market, further rises in tuition fees, increased competition in the wider International overseas student market, including the impact of the Home Office introducing tighter visa controls on overseas students, and a demographic decline post-2019 in the number of 18 year-olds nationally.

Taking all of the above into account, Newcastle City Council predict that there is not likely to be any substantial increase in the total demand from the student population for residential accommodation across the city in the near future above current levels.

Below is a table showing university cities and the percentage of their students who can access purpose-built student accommodation.

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