Thursday, 8 December 2016

Brexit: and accommodating students in Exeter

There is a lot of pressure on housing supply everywhere - but there's more in a university town, and Exeter is no exception:

Residents in tears at exhibition of plans for new student flats | Exeter Express and Echo

The University of Exeter claim that their plans for on-campus accommodation will in fact alleviate the pressure on the city:
Plans for new 1,300 bed student accommodation in Exeter | Exeter Express and Echo
Featured news - University of Exeter unveils plans for new on-campus accommodation - University of Exeter

Last week, the student accommodation sector (yes, there is one, and it's pretty big) got together to discuss the issues:
Student accommodation in focus: remodelling the student experience | Analysis - print | Property Week

And the top concern on their agenda was What impact will the Brexit vote have on foreign student numbers?

This was the same concern addressed by the universities' own property people:

Brexit a 'significant risk' to income of universities

After £30bn bumper year, warning issued saying that leaving the EU could come at big cost 

Richard Adams Thursday 1 December 2016

British universities have been warned that Brexit presents a significant risk to their income, after a year in which a bumper crop of postgraduate students, campus construction and rising research income lifted their turnover to £30bn.
The annual report by the Association of University Directors of Estates found that while undergraduate numbers remained static in 2014-15, an influx of 10,000 postgraduate research students, higher research fees and a surge in building work pushed up turnover by £2bn in the space of a year.
With the consequences of Britain’s vote to leave the EU yet to be felt, the organisation said: “It is impossible to predict the level of impact, although opportunities are also likely to emerge.”
The recruitment of EU nationals as staff and students was identified as one of the major risks, along with rising construction costs and changes to EU funding.
“EU research funding generates more than 19,000 jobs across the UK and £1.86bn for the UK economy. This equates to 14% of all UK income from research grants,” AUDE said.

Brexit a 'significant risk' to income of universities | Education | The Guardian

Returning to the article above and the comments about accommodating students - overseas or otherwise - in Exeter:

Residents in tears at exhibition of plans for new student flats


JonB27 | November 18 2016, 8:32AM

Overseas students are not responsible for the ASB (anti-social behaviour), experienced by many residents who live on roads between the uni and the City Center. The ASB is a product of UK educated students, who have never been taught manners by over indulgent parents. Yes a small number of students overall, leading to significant problems for local residents. 

Most of the developments in Exeter over the last 10 years has been focused on the spending power of students. Developers of both retail/food outlets & SGD's see the city as an attractive place to make a profit on there investments. The ECC, lead by Cllr. Edwards etc seems to 'greenlight' all these developments, with little or no thought about the impact on residents in the wards affected. With the lack of institutional investment, post Brexite, many future developments will be delayed. ie Radmore & Tucker, Reenslade House & ECFC. Is the 'Princesshay Leisure' redevelopment a casualty of this lack of investment?

chriswa29 | November 17 2016, 4:50PM

The students sadly bring little to the city other than noise, rubbish, drunken loutishness and brand new cars (bought by bank of mum and dad and not needed in a city the size of Exeter). 

The new flats are all a money making trip by the Uni to entice overseas students and make even more cash, all in collusion with developers and the city council. 
Arguments that the students add so much to the local economy don't stack up. I fear the majority of the students funds are spent on the Uni campus and a few small 'student friendly' parts of the city. 
The fact that the city council bends over backwards for the Uni while numbers of homeless rise because of lack of affordable homes is a total disgrace. Over 4,000 people used foodbanks in Exeter last year which says it all. A city of haves and have nots, broken Britain.

superstar999 | November 17 2016, 3:12PM

Rather an extreme title for this article. I would have thought a proposal for more accommodation in the University grounds would be preferable to one for more student flats in town. 

But why do proposals for student accommodation get such bad press? Most University towns welcome their student populations each autumn then complain in June when they leave because of the drop in income from students. Exeter University is one of the major employers in the city and also helps to draw in visitors.

jbird65 | November 17 2016, 2:52PM

As long as it's on the University's own grounds, I don't care. It's allowing them to spread out into the town that annoys me.

Residents in tears at exhibition of plans for new student flats | Exeter Express and Echo

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