Future Generation

International student demand for PBSA robust despite Covid, reports Future Generation

Demand for accommodation from international students is strong despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, according to Future Generation.


For the upcoming academic year, 52.9% of total bookings at Future Generation’s schemes have been made by international students — only marginally lower than the start of the 2020/2021 academic year, when the PBSA specialist registered 59.9% bookings from overseas students.

With the key months of June, July and August coming up — when the company says approximately 30% of total capacity is let — Future Generation is confident the rate will continue to rise.

The firm believes that the expected loosened travel restrictions will likely give an extra boost to the usual uptick of bookings from students of all kinds over the summer.

In March, Future Generation revealed that its pace of bookings for PBSA has trebled after Boris Johnson revealed his roadmap out of lockdown, having secured 20% more bookings than the same time last year.

The provider still predicts occupancy levels to exceed 90% come September as the UK emerges from the pandemic and is currently in the process of letting its portfolio of over 2,000 student beds for the 2021/22 academic year.

Andrew Southern, chairman at Future Generation (pictured above), said: “International travel and demand from overseas students was the biggest question mark hanging over the student accommodation sector when the pandemic blew up last year.

“Fast forward 12 months, and this asset class is proving itself once again.

“While it’s true that demand from international students has softened, it has beaten expectations in the circumstances, and we expect it to draw level with past years by the time the academic year begins.

“There are still four key months to go, covering the most important bookings season in the calendar, so we’re delighted with the way the portfolio is performing.

“We are still ahead of last year and on target to hit our goal of exceeding 90% occupancy across the portfolio by September.”

Future Generation’s managed portfolio currently includes five developments: Steel City in Sheffield, Hythe Mills in Colchester, Guilden Village in Guildford, Luxurio in Loughborough and The Vantage in Nottingham.

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