Knight Frank’s student accommodation partner has given its approval to new figures which suggest that there is a current surge in domestic and overseas students applying for undergraduate degree courses in the UK. The student partner, Neil Armstrong, explained that 38.2 per cent of Britain’s 18 year olds have applied for a full-time undergraduate degree course, which is a record breaking number. This, in addition to a rise in the number of EU applicants and the highest level of total applicants ever recorded from outside the EU, confirms the appeal of the UK’s higher education institutions across the world.

The worldwide appetite for UK student property investment has never been at such a high level, and it will be bolstered further by the number of applications this year. As the population of 18 year olds in the UK starts to grow from 2021 onward, demand for purpose-built student housing will experience a further boost, an increase to match the active pipeline of new housing stock. This will significantly help ease the pressure felt on existing student accommodation.

The percentage of 18 year olds in the UK applying for undergraduate degree courses in the UK has risen to 38.2 per cent, from 37.1 per cent in 2017. Meanwhile, from outside Britain, the number of applicants also rose to the highest level on record. In total, 19.2 per cent of all candidates are from countries outside the UK. Across Britain, the key findings from data provided by the Universities and Colleges Admission Service is that the overall number of undergraduate applicants from within the UK is at 453,840. While this shows a fall of approximately one per cent, it should also be taken into account that the UK’s population of 18 year olds has dropped by around two per cent.

In addition to this, the number of applicants from within the European Union has risen by around one per cent, to a total of 43,890. A total number of 63,690 18 year olds from outside the EU have applied to study undergraduate degree courses in the UK, which is an increase of approximately nine per cent from 2017. The number of students applying from China has risen this year by 33.3 per cent, with a total number of 15,880 people. This is a substantial increase from the total number of 11,915 in 2017. This brings the total number of Chinese applicants to almost an identical level to the number of students from Northern Ireland and Wales, at 17,910 and 18,855 respectively.

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