Cutting edge interior design and first-class features signal the next generation of student accommodation

Cutting edge interior design and first-class features signal the next generation of student accommodation

United Kingdom ,


  • Collegiate AC presents first biophilic design site in Lisbon
  • Students look forward to swimming pools and saunas in the new academic year
  • First Collegiate Prestige Collection site features visionary interior design

The UK purpose built student accommodation sector attracted £3.1 billion of investment in 2016, according to Knight Frank. Meanwhile, PwC has flagged student accommodation as one of Europe’s top three alternative real estate investment options for 2017.

Given this impressive scenario, it is perhaps no wonder that leading student accommodation providers are stepping up their game.


“The 2017/18 academic year is going to see some incredible sites open. Each year marks further innovation in the student accommodation sector, but this September is due to mark a step change in this huge market.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


The Collegiate AC team is excited about being part of the new era of student accommodation. 2017 will mark both the opening of the visionary provider’s first overseas site – Collegiate Marquês de Pombal in Lisbon – and the launch of its first Prestige Collection site – Ernest Place in Durham.

Designing two such ultra-opulent sites has been an exciting experience for the Collegiate interior design team.

In Lisbon, a localised blend of industrial chic, art and nature has given the site an incredibly unique character. In the natural light-filled Skylight Lounge, students can relax in between olive trees, flower beds and long, hanging fronds of foliage. Just off the lounge, the stunning swimming pool area uses ceramic tiles and bespoke furniture pieces to create a fabulous sense of luxury.


“We’ve used biophilic design concepts at Marquês de Pombal to provide residents with the wellness benefits associated with a deep connection to nature. At the same time, we’ve introduced a wealth of cultural quirks to reflect the unique atmosphere of Lisbon. The huge artwork of the main façade, painted by a locally commissioned artist, is reflective of the spirit and feel of the site.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC

The new Ernest Place site in Durham is just as exciting. The cutting edge interior design has created a sophisticated scheme, with bold elements that surprise and charm. The building is playful in its approach to atmospheres. The common room oozes warmth, with timber, brass and copper creating a relaxed, welcoming environment. By contrast, the impressive Sky Lounge offers a deliciously dark and moody atmosphere. Meanwhile the rooftop terrace provides an ultra-contemporary, chic outdoor bar vibe. And for those moments where ultimate relaxation is required, the fresh, natural feel of the sauna is just the ticket.


As well as crafting superb communal areas, Collegiate’s interior design team has paid particular attention to the bedrooms available to students in Lisbon and Durham.


Sleekly designed storage solutions provide plenty of space for possessions, while clever spatial planning has ensured that each student can get maximum use out of their available space. Rooms are designed to allow for resting, working, socializing, cooking, eating, and entertaining. They are at once homely and sophisticated in their design, as well as drawing on local inspiration. In Lisbon, the influence of the blue and white patterned azulejos (tiles) for which Portugal is so well known, can really be felt in the serene surroundings of the scheme’s bedrooms.


“Our approach has always been to deliver a lifestyle – an experience. Now, we’ve used visionary interior design to kick that up a notch. It’s about creating something more than just a simple home for students – this is accommodation that challenges and excites. It’s the perfect setting for an unforgettable university experience.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


For more information, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit

University accommodation: 4 top tips for students from Collegiate AC

University accommodation: 4 top tips for students from Collegiate AC

United Kingdom ,
  • Book early to avoid disappointment
  • Make location your top priority
  • Think through the amenities that are most important to you
  • Work out which lifestyle services you plan to use

If you’re heading off to university this September, there’s plenty to think about. Not only will you have the fun of making new friends and discovering your new city, chances are you’ll be living independently for the first time. If that’s the case, you’ll almost certainly have questions about student housing.


“We find that many students are anxious about where they’re going to live and when and how to book their accommodation. That’s why we’ve made the booking process so simple on the Collegiate website – students can view our properties at their leisure, then book online to ensure they have the accommodation that they want.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC

  1. The first thing to consider is how early to book.

According to UCAS, 48% of students book their accommodation before August. This means that you need to plan ahead and book early in order to have a decent choice of accommodation.

The UK has a shortage of university accommodation (2.3 students per available bed, according to Cushman and Wakefield), so don’t leave arranging your new home to the last minute, or you might end up living an awfully long way away from both the university and your fellow students.


  1. Location is the next thing to consider.

Do you want to be close to the university or close to the city centre? Many newly built student accommodation schemes offer accommodation that ticks both of these boxes, so shop around until you find a location that meets all of your needs.

Collegiate AC’s new Ernest Place accommodation in Durham, for example, is located within 10 minutes of the city centre and the university’s Durham city location, so whether you want to study, shop or go out for dinner, everything you need is within easy reach.


  1. Next, consider the facilities that you would like to have access to.


“Purpose built student accommodation gets better every year, so if an onsite gym or private cinema is important to you then opt for accommodation that has opened in the last two or three years. Communal features are becoming more and more important and students are reaping the rewards of this trend.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


At Collegiate’s Plummer House in Newcastle, for example, residents not only have their own en-suite apartments, but a wide range of luxurious amenities. There’s a games room, club lounge and bar for relaxing, a study room for hitting the books, an on-site cool room and concierge so that you can have your shopping delivered while you’re out at lectures, an on-site cinema for enjoying evenings in with friends and a private gym for keeping in shape.


  1. It’s also important to think about what you plan to take with you to uni.


Aside from clothes, toiletries and books, do you want the hassle of packing up pots and pans, plates, cups, bedding, towels and a toilet brush? No? Then make sure you opt for an accommodation provider that offers lifestyle services that provide these kind of items.

Consider too how you plan to cook and care for yourself. If you plan to live off takeaways, then kitchen facilities probably won’t matter too much, but if greasy meals day after day aren’t your style then make sure you opt for an apartment that includes a decent kitchen area, along with a breakfast bar or table where you can eat in comfort.


Then there’s the cleaning. Mum and Dad won’t be around to vacuum your floor or scrub your toilet, so if you don’t fancy taking on those tasks yourself, it’s best to find out what kind of cleaning services are available at your chosen accommodation. Many providers offer this as another of their lifestyle services. Find out in advance what’s available so you know how many dusters you need to pack.

“Starting university is the beginning of a wonderful new chapter, so make sure you organise your accommodation well in advance and have all of the features that you need. That way, you can arrive to the perfect home and focus on meeting new people and getting stuck into your studies, feeling happy and secure in your fabulous new accommodation.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


For more information and to book accommodation, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit

A new breed of student accommodation answers increasing international students’ demands

A new breed of student accommodation answers increasing international students’ demands

United Kingdom
  • Number of international students studying in UK increases 57% in 10 years (CBRE)
  • EU applicants increase 4.5%, non-EU increase 5.7% in 2014 (UCAS)
  • International students demand higher quality accommodation with additional facilities (Collegiate AC)

The UK is the second most popular destination worldwide for internationally mobile students, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Outpaced only by the US, which edged ahead with the lion’s share, and given its relative size, the European counterpart is steaming ahead – and increasingly so.

Over the course of the last 10 years, the number of international students arriving to study in the UK has grown by 57%, a huge increase formed by 68.7% additional students from the EU and a 32.4% increase in non-EU students, according to figures from CBRE. And with a 4.5% increase in applicants to UK courses from EU students in 2014, and a 5.7% increase in applicants from outside the EU, according to UCAS, it is clear to see that the appetite for securing a UK university education is unerring.

As a world-renowned destination for higher education studies, combined with the historical attractiveness of many of the United Kingdom’s university institutions who do not simply offer some of the best facilities and teaching in the world but also the prestige associated with a centuries-old tradition of further study, it is not surprising that more and more international students are settling in the UK. Yet, whilst the education system may serve to provide everything and more for an overseas student looking for a solid higher education, until recently the housing market sadly did not.

Known for its somewhat tired, often cramped property offerings, the UK student accommodation sector is seriously lacking and certainly does nothing to support students. Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO of Collegiate AC explains why this often presents a particular challenge for an international student,

“The evolution from home-life to a new life of living and studying abroad, is often difficult. Filled with the tribulations of making new friends, adjusting to life in a foreign country, finding out where all the best places to visit in the new city are, and making the very most of study time, the transition to an overseas university education can be overwhelming for many.

“This is where a student property can make or break a living experience and where a high-quality home can ease not just the transition to university life in the UK but also sustain a long-term enjoyable and successful university career.”

In relatively recent times the infamous run-down student ‘digs’ have begun to change for the better, with the bringing to market of a new breed of student property. Companies such as Collegiate AC, at the leading edge of student accommodation provision, provide an array of luxurious properties that offer a wide range of additional facilities to support not only study but also student living.

Facilities such as on-site gyms, private cinemas, laundry rooms and luxury lounges, mean that easing into a new social situation is trouble-free, meaning making friends is easier and settling into a new living arrangement is painless, especially important for international students who are often away from home for the first time. Alongside this, free Wi-Fi and ergonomically-designed study spaces mean that learning is wholly supported and students are able to make the very most of their time.

In addition to this, 24-hour security makes properties safe and offers a high level of reassurance to families at home, again a key reason why Collegiate AC properties are extremely popular with the international student market.

Offering a wide range of accommodation throughout some of the UK’s finest university cities, including Birmingham, Leeds, London, Southampton, Liverpool, Exeter and Edinburgh, Collegiate AC offers peace of mind, beautiful interiors and some of the best student properties the UK has to offer. The perfect accommodation solution for today’s internationally mobile student.

For more information, visit or contact Collegiate on 01235 250 140. 

Cardiff University returns to former glory while students stay in Collegiate style

Cardiff University returns to former glory while students stay in Collegiate style

United Kingdom
  • Cardiff enters top 125 best universities for 1st time in 4 years (QS World University Rankings)
  • 1 in every 20 Cardiff properties occupied solely by students (Welsh Government)
  • New Northgate House Apartments ensure Cardiff students stay in style (Collegiate

Cardiff University is celebrating its return to the list of the world’s top universities, having taken joint 123rd place with Liverpool. The QS World University Rankings include some 800 higher education institutions from across the globe in their ratings each year and this is the first time in four years that Cardiff has had a place in the top 125.

According to Vice Chancellor, Cardiff intends to carry on moving up the rankings, with the aim of entering the top 100 by 2017. Part of the plans include a world-first social sciences research park, which would see four buildings constructed as part of a £300 million campus development plan.

As the university plans for such an impressive upgrade, leading student accommodation provider Collegiate is also planning an upgrade – to the city’s housing.

Alwyn Court will offer Cardiff’s undergraduate and postgraduate students the latest in contemporary accommodation, including studio apartments and cluster flats with shared kitchen facilities. All have double bedrooms and en-suites, with an emphasis on stylish design and clever use of space

Meanwhile, the newly opened Northgate House Apartments are providing a luxurious alternative to life in halls or shared houses. Funky features like en suite shower rooms and breakfast bars put these apartments in a class of their own, with style and comfort high up on the design agenda.

At Summit House, 21st century features are taken to the next level, with the beautifully designed accommodation, which is available exclusively to 87 residents, including an in-house cinema, gym and reading room.

Collegiate CEO Eri Cuanalo explains,

“We’re really excited to be able to reveal details of the new Alwyn Court and Northgate House sites in Cardiff, which complement our fantastic Summit House site. As with all Collegiate accommodation we’ve blended contemporary design with a mix of practical features like on-site laundries or reading rooms, so the apartments provide a comfortable home and ease the transition to living independently. We have also included high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi throughout the buildings, to ensure that residents can study whenever the mood takes them.

Cardiff is a fascinating city to live, study and play in. It is known across the UK for its thriving nightlife scene and draws students in from all corners of the UK and overseas. The need for modern, best-in-class student accommodation in the city is clear.

1 in every 20 properties in Cardiff is occupied solely by students, according to data released by the Welsh Government, accounting for 4.9% of total dwellings, but many are in a sad state of repair or located far from university campuses and other amenities.

Collegiate’s superior apartments in the city not only offer tenants stunning interiors, but also the peace of mind that comes from knowing the buildings have on-site management. They are also extremely well located for access to Cardiff University and the city centre.

With its reputation as a world-class university city moving up the rankings, Cardiff needed student accommodation to match. Now Collegiate’s three sites at Alwyn Court, Northgate House Apartments and Summit House are providing exactly that.

For more information, visit or contact Collegiate on or by calling 01235 250 140.

Top of the class! Collegiate capitalises on record university numbers with rapid student accommodation portfolio expansion

Top of the class! Collegiate capitalises on record university numbers with rapid student accommodation portfolio expansion

United Kingdom
  • Record numbers of university applicants in 2014, growth of 3.4% on 2013 (UCAS)
  • An estimated £2.4 billion invested in student accommodation market in 2014, according to figures as of November (CBRE)
  • Luxury student accommodation provider, Collegiate, expanding portfolio with hugely successful takeover acquisition

2014 was no doubt a standout year for the UK’s higher education sector. There were record numbers of university applicants, with UCAS recording figures of 512,400 being granted a place on a course, signifying a growth of 3.4% on 2013 figures and the first time that figures had ever broken the half a million mark.

Not seemingly put off by the increase in tuition fees (they can now be as much as £9,000 a year), more and more people are going to university and this, in turn, has meant a knock on effect on the accommodation sector within many university locations.

The student housing market has seen a huge expansion in recent times, with CBRE figures revealing that almost £2.4 billion was invested in the market last year (according to figures as of November 2014). And it is only predicted that this trend will continue. CBRE are forecasting a positive 2015 for the sector, with more and more people recognising the benefits of buying into the student housing market, stating that there is now,

“Widespread acceptance of student housing by all types of investor as a well-understood and mainstream asset class. The current investment flurry in student housing is set to continue into 2015… There has arguably never been a better time to bring student housing to the market.”

One company, doing just this is student property provider Collegiate, whose luxury accommodation offering is witnessing a period of great expansion as 2015 unfolds.

Collegiate already provides some of the very best student housing in university towns and cities up and down the UK, answering the problem of tired, run-down student properties with a quality solution. Properties are beautifully created and comfortable; modern living combines with ergonomically-designed work spaces to equal the very best quality of accommodation that this sector can offer.

Collegiate properties are also secure, incorporating features such as CCTV, 24-hour on-call support, and electronic entry systems, innovative, with fast broadband and contemporary work spaces to reflect students’ ambitions, and exciting, with amazing on-site facilities including private cinema rooms, gyms and reading rooms. With so much to offer, it is clear to see why Collegiate are rapidly expanding their portfolio in 2015, with more schemes becoming available through the company in more university locations around the country.

With 16 new residences this year, not just through creating their own properties in conjunction with trusted developers, Collegiate have also announced that they are bringing to market over half a dozen UK student schemes as part of a hugely successful takeover acquisition, proving not only that the sector is booming, but also that Collegiate have become the brand to trust at the luxury end of the market.

Schemes included in this exciting acquisition are Dean Clarke Lofts in Exeter, Algernon Firth in Leeds, McDonald Road taken over from Unite in Edinburgh, Liberty Fields taken over from Liberty Living in London, Claremont House in Glasgow, Allwyn Court in Cardiff, and others.

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO of Collegiate explains what has led to this much-anticipated period of expansion for the company,

“There are great benefits of investing in a university education on all sides and Collegiate are at the forefront of this, with our expanding portfolio in 2015, proving this. As a leading provider of luxury student accommodation, we focus on high quality properties and, through ensuring that we employ the best professional management staff, are able to offer the very best living solutions to our students.

“Our residents want attention – they rightfully do not want to fall into the conveyor belt mentality surrounding some other student housing options – and expect us to focus on enhancing the student experience on both sides. This is precisely what we do and will continue to do in 2015 – it is going to be a great year!”

For more information about luxury student accommodation provider, Collegiate, visit or call 01235 250 140. 

AB Property Marketing appointed to represent market leading student accommodation provider, Collegiate

AB Property Marketing appointed to represent market leading student accommodation provider, Collegiate

United Kingdom ,

With greater numbers of undergraduate and postgraduate students now attending universities across the UK than a decade ago (a growth of near on 5% from 2003/4 to 2013/4, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency), naturally, in turn there has developed an increased need for student housing.

Notoriously of poor quality, cramped, tired-buildings were once the mainstay of this part of the housing sector, providing students with accommodation that did not always allow for the most pleasant of experiences, let alone a living environment that supported them to make the very most of their university careers. Yet in recent years, a new breed of student property has emerged, not only as a solution to these negative refrains but also paving the way for the future of student accommodation: comfortable, forward-thinking and innovative.

Collegiate is the trusted university housing brand that is making strides in this sector; the leading provider of superior student accommodation in some of Britain’s finest university towns, providing perfect solutions for students and excellent opportunities for investors. Reflecting the need for high quality student living, Collegiate accommodation encompasses beautifully-designed modern living and learning spaces, alongside additional facilities that can include on-site gyms, private cinemas and reading rooms to ensure making friends is easier.

Reflecting todays students’ ambitions and the lives they want to lead, not only do the residences provide everything required to support learning, including fast broadband and innovative work spaces, all properties also place the safety of their students as a priority, incorporating features such as CCTV, 24-hour on-call support, and electronic entry systems to provide peace of mind to students and parents alike. Bedrooms are bright and airy, modern in design and fully functional, and communal areas are comfortable and contemporary, making properties a real home from home, well-maintained and of superior quality.

Eri Cuanalo, CEO of Collegiate explains what makes them the standout student accommodation provider in the UK,

“Built and based on our many years of experience in discovering and understanding what students and those who care for them want and expect from quality student accommodation, each and every one of our properties is superbly designed and meticulously maintained to the very highest of standards. Not only this, but we add a little ‘wow’ to each property, ensuring that the transition to university life is easy and enjoyable. At Collegiate, we are proud to hold to our mantra of ‘student living, just better’ and we look forward to the greater expansion of our offering this year.”

In light of Collegiate’s ongoing expansion of their student properties, the company has appointed leading property PR agency, AB Property Marketing, to promote their superior accommodations to students and investors alike.

Charlotte Ashton, MD of AB Property Marketing comments,

“ABPM are delighted to be representing Collegiate at what is a very exciting time for the company as they continue to grow their property portfolio and introduce their luxury accommodation to an even greater number of university students. With their experience in the sector and reputation for the highest of standards, they have truly earned their place as the leading student accommodation provider in the UK. I only wish there was a Collegiate option when I was at university!”

As experts in UK student accommodation, Collegiate are available to provide comment on the industry, opinion on the changing market and an authority voice on the subject of student living.

For more information about Collegiate, visit or call 01235 250 140.