Are freshers shunning university halls?

Are freshers shunning university halls?

  • New figures from Collegiate AC show growing trend of freshers opting for luxury private pads 
  • Outstanding shared social spaces are key appeal Freshers 
  • Location also wins the day for purpose built accommodation providers 


New data from luxury accommodation provider Collegiate AC has shown a growing trend in freshers’ requirements from their university accommodation.  

The figures reveal that first year students are increasingly shunning university halls in favour of more luxurious private student accommodation. 


Today’s freshers have more choice than ever before when it comes to student pads. They are making the most of that choice by opting for alternatives to university halls. The image of the university lifestyle has changed dramatically over the past decade or so and university halls are no longer in line with what students demand as part of their experience, so they’re voting with their feet.  

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC 


Collegiate’s data shows that first year students accounted for 20.19% of its residents back in 2015/16. That figure increased to 21.66% in 2016/17 and to 22.06% in 2017/18. The proportion of freshers opting for more luxurious pads is rising slowly but steadily, year on year.  

 First years increasingly expect a wide range of features from their accommodation, as showcased by Collegiate’s Ernest Place in Durham. The site is part of Collegiate’s Prestige Collection. The stylish en-suite studios offer an exclusive lifestyle that affords students peace and privacy, while also providing an on-site social scene.

The superb shared facilities include a private fitness centre, resident’s club lounge, concierge service, private dinner party room, in-house cinema, sauna and glass-walled sky lounge. Naturally, there are also a number of dedicated study zones, as well as the spacious desk area that each student enjoys as part of his/her room.  


 Part of what makes the appeal of accommodation like this so strong is the blend of private space and outstanding social spaces. Tuition fees nowadays mean that students have to pay a great deal of money in order to attend university, so it’s not surprising that they want to make the most out of every minute of that experience.  

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC 

Eclipse in Cardiff, which is part of Collegiate’s Fusion Collection, is another prime example of the lure of luxury digs. As well as a dinner party room, concierge and private cinema, the site features table games, a gym and fitness suite and even a themed, on-site nightclub with its own secret entrance. 

Many purpose built accommodation providers have also used the location of their sites to tempt students away from university halls. Sites are not only well located for the university, but also for pedestrian access to the city centre, something which many university halls lack.  


With location as well, it’s about going over and above that which is offered by traditional university accommodation. Most first years are excited to experience all that their new town or city has to offer and that means shopping, eating and socialising in the city centre. The more conveniently a property is located for this, the better.  

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC 

With demand for luxury student accommodation continuing to grow, it seems that university halls of residence are going to have an increasingly tough job on their hands if they want to attract freshers for the start of each new academic year. The lure of luxury is just too strong!  


For more information and to book accommodation in university towns and cities across the UK, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit