Urban legends abound about the sorry state of student digs – mouldy bathrooms, washing piled in sinks, unscrupulous landlords and horrible housemates. Everyone who has ever been to university has a story or at least knows someone who has suffered some kind of housing disaster. It was almost a right of passage for any self-respecting university student and to be honest, it stayed that way for a long time. But times are definitely changing.
Imagine accommodation with drinking rooms Pre-drinking bars, cinema rooms, gyms, fitness suites, stylish furnishings and a 24-hour concierge. Visualise a beautifully-designed space where you can meet like-minded individuals and sip a cocktail or enjoy a beer after your lectures. Perhaps you’d like to book a private room for pre-going out drinks, then relax there when you return home after a night on the town? It sounds a bit like one of those beer adverts, “if Heineken did halls of residence…” but it actually is the future of student accommodation.
Companies are springing up which have realised that students do actually have standards. They have cast aside outdated and unfair student stereotypes and instead see students as young, enthusiastic adults who want somewhere pleasant where they can not only socialise and meet other students, but that is a comfortable place to study too.
University education has changed dramatically over the last decade with the introduction of student tuition fees. Long gone are the days of grants and endless drinking, students are having to make a serious investment in their education and as such they expect far more from their accommodation.
That is where these new student pads really deliver. Many are based in the heart of large city centres, providing access, not only to fantastic living facilities, but all the cities have to offer as well.
Warren Rosenberg, of Fusion Students, which has residences in Cardiff, Bristol, Newcastle and Nottingham, says: “It used to be the case that students would get a room in halls of residence for their first year and then move into private accommodation with their mates as fast as humanly possible for the remainder of their degree.
“What we do is very different from your average residence and students are opting to stay with us throughout their entire university experience. We offer them affordable luxury, so when they are studying away from home they really can make the most of it.”
And why indeed would you want to leave given the facilities available? Fusion Students offers high spec studio and two-dio rooms with flat screen TVs, double beds and stylish communal areas. The social spaces are well thought out to allow you to mingle and make friends, with games rooms and VIP bars. In addition, there are private gyms, party lounges, a concierge service, study rooms, 24-hour security and Wi-Fi throughout.
Take a look at this video to see what is on offer:
Students are certainly expecting more from their accommodation, but this change has also been brought about by fiercer struggles in the workplace too. Competition for jobs is tougher than ever and students are realising the importance of staying on in education and completing post-graduate diplomas, masters and PhDs.
If you’re embarking on a postgraduate course, you’ll probably want to do it in relative comfort, having served your time in traditional student digs as an undergraduate. There are also more opportunities for foreign students to study in the UK than ever before and living in such accommodation with permanent security offers parents, who are thousands of miles away, peace of mind.
Rosenberg says: “Increasingly, students are undertaking postgraduate study and we have a lot of residents who fit into this category. Whilst the idea of further study is appealing to get you onto that all-important career ladder, the thought of living in undesirable accommodation for another few years really isn’t.