With studios in demand, PBSA providers are more invaluable than ever in 2018

With studios in demand, PBSA providers are more invaluable than ever in 2018

United Kingdom
  • Record 30,000 UK student beds were delivered in 2017 (Cushman & Wakefield)
  • Nearly half of new UK PBSA beds are studios (Cushman & Wakefield)
  • Quarter of the student population from outside the UK (Cushman & Wakefield)
  • Majority of Collegiate residents opting for solo students are Chinese nationals

With a total investment spend forecast to reach £5.3 billion in 2017, the purpose-built student accommodation sector (PBSA) represents strong opportunity for both investors but also to tackle the chronic undersupply of student housing in the UK.

To answer the ever-growing demand, a record 30,000 new student bed spaces were delivered in 2017 according to Cushman & Wakefield in their Student Accommodation Report 2017 with supply dominated by the private sector.

Luxury student accommodation provider Collegiate is one of the leading private contributors to the development of the sector. In recent years, it has delivered 20,000 beds across UK 30 cities and with a further 6,100 PBSA beds in the pipeline.

In recent years, the range of PBSA offerings has grown sensationally but Collegiate has noted that studio flats in particular have soared in popularity – a trend also observed by Cushman & Wakefield who recorded a 106% increase in studio bed spaces since 2014.

2018 is again likely to see an explosion in the provision of this type of accommodation as 43% of all new PBSA beds are studios, mostly delivered by the private sector.

For its brand-new development Crown House which opened September 2017 in Sheffield, Collegiate saw demand for its presidential solo studios markedly higher than standard rooms with all solo studios already sold out for the 2018/19 academic year.

“With comfort, cleanliness, privacy and security, our studio bed spaces offer value and style of living students have been used to before they leave home. Living in a studio allows them to focus on their studies and that’s the priority for their parents, the majority of which pay students’ rent. Thus, without a doubt, I believe that this trend of solo living will continue in 2018.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate


The trend of studio living is most likely driven by students coming from outside the UK who want to make the most of their student experience abroad. The Cushman & Wakefield report shows clear evidence of the importance of foreign students reminding that nearly one quarter (23%) of the student population are from outside the UK.

This growing interest for PBSA units from foreign students is also witnessed by Collegiate which reports that 26% of its residents are from China with demand for studio schemes driven by the outstanding service it offers to international students.

The benefits of living in studio accommodation provided by Collegiate are significant as it is designed to maximise space and light, providing ample room to study and rest with privacy.

Take Collegiate Edge Apartments in Birmingham for instance. Its high-spec studio apartments, priced from £205.00 per week, come with state-of-the-art kitchens that add flavour to every meal and contemporary study stations to help residents focus.

Professional interior designers are also employed to deliver a stylish and modern look and feel to both the accommodation itself and the communal areas. The amenity spaces from the study rooms through to the in-house cinema and outdoor terraces are also carefully crafted to create the ideal community environment.

The on-site concierge teams are also present to reassure residents, answer queries and deal with any maintenance issues in a timely fashion.

For more information and to book accommodation in university towns and cities across the UK and Europe, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.  

Achieving Advantage – Top student accommodation provider Collegiate offers full service partnerships for 2018

Achieving Advantage – Top student accommodation provider Collegiate offers full service partnerships for 2018

United Kingdom


  • Record 30,000 student bed spaces delivered in 2017 (Cushman Wakefield)
  • Collegiate Advantage delivering superior services to partners around the world
  • 2018 to see key corporate focus on innovation, capacity and capability at Collegiate


The number of new student bed spaces delivered in 2017 hit a record high of 30,000 in 2017, according to the Cushman Wakefield Student Accommodation Annual Report 2017. The figure means the total number of purpose-built bed spaces in the UK has now reached 602,000 for the 2017/18 academic year.

One of the leading contributors to the development of the market in 2017 was Collegiate. The company also has big plans for 2018. Far from being purely an accommodation management company, Collegiate has built a unique full service offering, delivering development, design, construction support, specifiers and long-term operations services to a range of corporate partners.

“Too many companies position themselves as student accommodation managers, without considering the bigger picture. That’s why we’ve developed the Collegiate Advantage programme, based on our work on over 500 development projects in the UK and overseas, where we’ve served students from more than 100 countries.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate

Developers and investors seeking excellence in 2018 can benefit from a range of Collegiate services. Quality and excellence are built in at every stage of the process, which delivers an end-to-end package designed to focus on corporate partners’ needs and students’ future desires. This blend of experience is what gives Collegiate the edge, allowing the company to deliver unparalleled value while future proofing its operations and the work it undertakes with its partners.

We have worked as partners with Collegiate on three prestige schemes over three years and their design and specification support, and operational capacity, have helped Studious to achieve a strong reputation with both consumers and with the investment market. Our schemes have durable high-quality specifications and a sense of style that will see them succeed over the long term. We receive excellent feedback from students and their parents alike, our schemes have always been 100% full and we are well positioned for sustainable rental growth.”


Sevi Rixson, Managing Director, Studious

 For the cross-sector experience Collegiate team, the focus in 2018 will be about continuing to innovate, in partnership with organisations in the UK and overseas. From viable, intelligent design to extensive operational capacity, Collegiate has the breadth of delivery needed to operate with multiple partners across multiple countries. The organisation has doubled in size every two years – and 2018 looks to continue the trend.


For more information on achieving advantage in 2018 contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.


Brand new Lisbon site redefines luxury student living, as private sector makes its mark

Brand new Lisbon site redefines luxury student living, as private sector makes its mark

Portugal United Kingdom
  • 87% of UK student bed spaces delivered by private sector (Cushman Wakefield)
  • Collegiate is leading student accommodation development in both UK and Portugal
  • Launch of Collegiate Marquês de Pombal announced for 15 January 2018


The recent Cushman Wakefield UK Student Accommodation Report revealed that 87% of all new purpose-built student bed spaces in the UK were delivered by the private sector. A record 30,000 new beds were delivered in 2017, with leading provider Collegiate proud to have expanded both its portfolio and reputation for excellence within the student accommodation sector.

Nor is it just the UK where Collegiate is making its mark. On 15th January 2018, the brand new Collegiate Marquês de Pombal site in Lisbon will open its doors to the first cohort of students looking for outstanding accommodation in the Portuguese capital.


“We’re delighted to be launching our spectacular new site at Collegiate Marquês de Pombal on 15 January 2018. With outstanding facilities, a residents’ club lounge and dinner party room, this site will mark a new standard in student accommodation in Lisbon. 

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate


A range of study zones provide calming settings for students to read, undertake research and write essays. Meanwhile, carefully designed rooms also ensure that each individual can study in private should they prefer. The site also features an on-site library for the peaceful absorption of knowledge.

The locally-inspired interior boasts extensive natural elements and stylish artwork, reflecting the character of the surrounding city.

The site has been designed with contemporary young people firmly in mind, from international students living in Portugal for the first time to domestic pupils looking forward to completing their studies in the capital.

On-site amenities include a stylish swimming pool, sauna, private fitness suite, luxurious cinema and private dinner party rooms.

“Each Collegiate site is unique, with the interior design shaped to suit the city around it. At Collegiate Marquês de Pombal, that meant bringing to life the sophistication and grandeur of Lisbon, while also recognising the importance of outdoor life.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate

With a 24/7 professional concierge service, state-of-the-art security and high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi, Collegiate has set the scene for an outstanding and secure university experience, designed to enable each individual student to flourish, both academically and socially.


For more information and to book accommodation in university towns and cities across the UK and Europe, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.

Students kick-start their 2018 fitness goals with cooking and cardio in luxury pads

Students kick-start their 2018 fitness goals with cooking and cardio in luxury pads

United Kingdom ,
  • England’s health is alarming with 62% of UK adults obese and 38% sedentary (NHS Health Survey for England)
  • Brits need to run 18 miles to burn off the calories consumed during the festive season (Discount Supplements)
  • Free fitness, dance and “Wellness week” sessions in state-of-the-art gyms available at Collegiate and Fusion Students accommodation

After tucking into treats, sweets and booze during the festive period, attention has now turned to the pledges that many of us make to be better over the next 12 months. As eating habits tend to change over Christmas, the most common New Year’s resolutions will doubtlessly be weight loss and the start of a healthier lifestyle.

According to the latest statistics from the NHS, obesity and physical activity are key concerns with over half of all adults in England being obese (62%) and more than a third sedentary (38%). The report stresses more than ever the need for UK citizens to quit their unhealthy routines and 2018 could be the time for change! Amongst the most health conscious are today’s students, eager to achieve both their health and academic goals to make the most of their time at university.

With increasing pressure to attain top grades, a well-balanced body, mind and soul is becoming essential for students, at any level of study.

Providing students with the facilities essential for maintaining a healthier lifestyle, Collegiate the leading provider of luxury student accommodation in the UK, installs high-tech kitchen appliances to give their residents the opportunity to cook meals from scratch. And with tea and coffee prepared at the start of each day by the 24/7 concierge at Collegiate Plummer House in Newcastle, students are able to get ready for a day of lectures with ease.

Eclipse, provided by Fusion Students in Cardiff, also benefits from an exclusive French Renaissance themed dining room to host friends and put healthy cooking skills to the test for a fun and relaxing evening in.

As well as altering food choices, many New Year’s resolutions begin with a trip to the gym. According to new research from online retailer Discount Supplements, Brits put on 5lb between December 25 and January 1 needing to run 18 miles to burn off all these calories.

To inspire students to make time for fitness, regardless of skill level, most Collegiate residences offer on-site gym facilities, including Collegiate West Gate in Exeter, Collegiate Fontenoy Apartments in Liverpool and Collegiate Crown House in Sheffield. In Newcastle, Collegiate Plummer House provides classes such as Dance, Bootcamp and Spinning all included in the weekly rate. At Fusion Students accommodation in Bristol, Newcastle, Cardiff and Nottingham, residents will enjoy around the exam period in February a ‘wellness week’ which has a number of health and wellbeing focused experiences for free. Activities will include personal trainers, free smoothies, pamper nights, yoga and much more.

“Many of our residents have said that the range of additional facilities available in our properties enhances their student experience and provides them with the tools they need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Whether it is using the space to experiment in the kitchen, working up a sweat in the gym or letting off steam by exchanging stories in the common room, we believe that these aspects are essential.

“This is especially important after the Christmas break when getting back into the routine of healthy eating and exercising before January exams is important. At Collegiate we take into careful consideration exactly what students need.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate

With 80% of New Year resolutions failing by the second week of February according to U.S news websites, it is crucial therefore that your surroundings help motivate your goals and Collegiate offers the perfect accommodation for focused and well-rounded student-living.

Collegiate Crown House in Sheffield is a fine example of student accommodation that helps maintain a balanced lifestyle. On-site facilities include a cinema, private gym, club lounge and a resident’s bar as well as a choice of generously-sized rooms, along with high-speed broadband, Wi-Fi and 24-hour security and CCTV.

For more information, visit https://www.collegiate-ac.com/ or contact Collegiate on 01235 250 140.

Luxury student accommodation provider Collegiate shortlisted for Best Operator of the Year award

Luxury student accommodation provider Collegiate shortlisted for Best Operator of the Year award

Portugal United Kingdom

Collegiate is proud to announce today its nomination for The Class Best Operator of the Year award presented by the Class of 2020, Europe’s leading platform.

Class of 2020 represents a vision for cities to attract and retain the brightest young minds, and for them to lead the way to social and economic success in return.

Winners will be announced during its annual Class Conference, which takes place this Wednesday and Thursday (15th & 16th November) in Lisbon, Portugal. This event will discuss all topics related to student housing with this year’s theme ‘Building Bridges Over Growing Barriers’.

The award celebrates the housing operator “that provides the best quality of living to the residents it serves. This operator will have gone the extra mile, ensuring the best provision of services that go beyond just meeting the needs and desires of the next generation of students.” ​

“It is a privilege to have received a nomination for The Class Best Operator of the Year Award.  Collegiate continually strive to better our product and service to nurture academic success and this nomination is a testament of that commitment.  Through our continued expansion and growing status as an international luxury brand in the student accommodation sector, we hope to continue this positive trend.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate


Collegiate has been at the forefront of innovation in student accommodation for 6 years by delivering a growing portfolio of 40 luxury student accommodation sites worldwide. They combine superior accommodation with superior service and support over 65,000 students from 100 countries on their way to academic success.

The company’s flagship European development, Collegiate Marques de Pombal, will open its doors in January 2018 in Lisbon with an additional 11 projects across Iberia in build. Expansion over the next 24 months will also include Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands & Poland.

For more information, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.  

Is PBSA now more popular with students than traditional HMOs?

Is PBSA now more popular with students than traditional HMOs?

  • 85% of HMO landlords not up to scratch with new regulations (Simple Landlords Insurance)
  • 84% of students worry about having enough to live on (National Student Money)
  • 22% increase in first-year students choosing PBSA accommodation (Collegiate)


Tuition fee hikes, soaring rents of HMO properties and rising concerns from students over the value for money of accommodation have all changed the landscape of UK student housing. Tighter restrictions around HMO properties, which have long been a popular choice of accommodation for higher education students, whilst many would argue necessary have made it even harder and more costly for private landlords to accommodate the demands of 21st century students.

New government proposals, outlined originally in a consultation paper in October 2016 suggest that landlords who own HMOs will require new mandatory licenses to operate. The government also plans to impose a new minimum size of 6.52 square metres for a single person resulting in some HMOs needing to be reconfigured, potentially losing an income generating room.

However, recent research by Simple Landlords Insurance reveals that more than 85% of landlords are not familiar with these new laws set to come into effect in Spring 2018 with students the first to suffer from the confusion, inevitable disruption and potentially higher rents imposed to cover costs.

Burdened with sizeable debt upon graduation, today’s students are already struggling to fund rising rents with the National Student Money Survey reporting that 84% of students are worried about having enough to live on at the end of the month.

“Students just want a decent home. They want to enjoy the standards of housing that they are accustomed to but unfortunately, some private landlords fail to understand today’s students’ needs.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate

Although most higher education students in the UK live in privately owned rental properties, levels of satisfaction with this type of accommodation have fallen in recent years.

The relationship between landlord, letting agent and student is often a difficult one, sullied by horror stories of the rental experience coming from all sides. But with the boom in investment in purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) over the past decade, students are seeing a more desirable, and in many ways, better value for money, alternative.

This growing interest for PBSA units is witnessed by luxury accommodation provider Collegiate which has seen a 22% increase in first-year students opting for PBSA accommodation for the 2017/18 academic year compared to traditional university-operated halls.

With PBSA sites such as those operated by Collegiate, students can count on a more reliable housing provider where they benefit from living in a place where safety and security is paramount, utilities are included in the rent and a wide range of on-site amenities are complementary.

PBSA provided by Collegiate is more reliable and less disruptive for students. We strive to ensure a consistently high quality of accommodation and service across all our sites, taking away the hassles of renting and allowing residents to just focus on their studies.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate

 Take Collegiate Crown House in Sheffield as an example. One of Collegiate’s Prestige Collection, the purpose-built development offers students 24-hour concierge services with CCTV cameras, contemporary accommodation all with en-suite bathrooms and complemented by first-class amenities including fitness suite, indoor and outdoor cinemas, gaming rooms and cold stores.

The benefits of living in accommodation owned by a professional, registered company versus a private landlord are significant. Collegiate sites are specifically designed with students in mind with bedrooms configured to maximise space and light, providing ample room to study and rest.

Professional interior designers are employed to deliver a stylish and modern look and feel to both the accommodation itself as the communal areas. The amenity spaces from the study rooms through to the private dinner party rooms and outdoor terraces are also carefully crafted to create the ideal community environment.

Not just this but the on-site concierge teams mean that there is always someone on hand to answer queries, not matter how small, and deal with any maintenance issues in a timely fashion.

Being an award-winning limited company and with an established track record in the market, over 60,000 residents have trusted Collegiate to deliver the exceptional experience they demand. Collegiate’s scale and scope also offers students (and their parents) extra reassurance.

“Our focus is on delivering excellence in all that we do – from the very first conversation with our development partners through all the stages of design and construction, to delivering an exceptional experience for all of our residents. Why? Because we believe that this combination delivers superior value for everyone.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate

Not satisfied with changing the face of student accommodation in the UK alone, Collegiate has plans to wider its property portfolio with a launch of new PBSA sites across Europe in 2018 with its first, Marques de Pombal, in Lisbon.

“Collegiate Marques de Pombal will provide domestic and international students with a unique living experience, enabling them to make the most of their university careers both studiously and socially. The lifestyle-led apartments and social spaces have been carefully designed to create an environment where students can feel safe and looked after.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate

For more information and to book accommodation in university towns and cities across the UK and Europe, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.   

Are freshers shunning university halls?

Are freshers shunning university halls?

United Kingdom
  • 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 www.collegiate-ac.com 

Top tips for settling into new student accommodation

Top tips for settling into new student accommodation

United Kingdom
  • Choosing the right accommodation is key
  • Take advantage of shared social spaces and organised events to make friends fast
  • Explore and get to know your local area as quickly as possible to feel at home


Heading off to university can be a daunting prospect for several reasons. It’s an exciting time but also a nerve-inducing one for many students. Thankfully, luxury accommodation providers such as Collegiate AC have been working hard to ensure that settling into their accommodation doesn’t have to be one of the items on first year students’ list of things to worry about.


“There are several steps that students can take to ensure that they settle quickly into their accommodation. The first, of course, is to find the right accommodation – somewhere that students will feel safe, happy and have the peace to study.” 

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC

Knowing that they have luxurious accommodation lined up is perhaps the biggest reassurance that students can have. A crop of outstanding new facilities, such as Eclipse in Cardiff, which is part of Collegiate’s Fusion Students Collection, have raised the bar in terms of what students can expect.

The accommodation is designed to ensure that students can settle in as quickly as possible, giving them a ‘home from home’ complete with en-suite facilities, a spacious desk area, plentiful storage, a comfy bed and a flat-screen TV.

Collegiate is committed to providing pastoral care as well as superb accommodation, and each development comes with an on-site team to provide support in times of need, as well as practical advice. These teams have put their heads together in order to provide top tips to help students settle in this autumn.


Collegiate’s Top Tips for Settling into New Accommodation


  1. Prepare a list

There’s nothing quite as reassuring as knowing you’ve done everything you can to prepare. Whether it’s your favourite posters, your can’t-live-without CDs or your stack of textbooks, arriving knowing you’ve got everything you need will ensure that you’re instantly more relaxed.


  1. Don’t take more than you need to

Some people enjoy packing. Many more don’t. As such, don’t go through the pain of packing saucepans, sheets or shampoo if you don’t have to. Look for a provider that offers lifestyle services as well as accommodation.

These can include set packs of goods to ensure that your accommodation feels more homely when you arrive, from bedding to cutlery. The result is that you’ll arrive feel calmer and with less to unpack, which makes for a much quicker process of settling in.


  1. Get involved

Remember that you’re not the only student to arrive feeling nervous about your new environment. That’s why universities have ‘Freshers’ Week.’ Freshers Week refers to the first week at uni when first years settle in for the year ahead. There are plenty of practical details to take care of (registering with a doctor, touring the library, meeting your tutors, etc.) but also plenty of social events organised just for first years. These can range from nights out to paintballing. Throw yourself into these in order to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and what’s on offer. Doing so will help you to feel connected to your new city faster.


4. Make friends

It’s probably been a long time since you’ve had to make so many new friends, but this is another area that your choice of accommodation can help with. At Crown House in Sheffield, for example, the Prestige Collection accommodation includes an outdoor courtyard cinema, BBQ and alfresco dining area, fitness suite, gaming booths, dinner party room, flexible lounge area and study zones. That gives you plenty of options for hanging out and having fun while getting to know your peers. The on-site team also organises events specifically to help first years settle in, so make the most of these as well and you’ll soon feel right at home.


5. Get lost

If you’ve chosen your accommodation wisely, you should find that the whole of your new city is on your doorstep, ripe for exploration.

Residents of Ernest Place in Durham, for example, are just 10 minutes from the shops, restaurants and nightlife of the city centre. As such, head out with no destination in mind and see what you find. Keep an eye out for everything from your nearest post box to the local bus stop. You’ll quickly start to feel familiar with your new area, as well as discovering the unique charms that your new town or city has to offer.

“Above all, remember that all the other freshers are in the same boat as you. It’s natural to feel both nervous and excited when you start a new chapter in your life. Use our top tips to ensure you settle in quickly and ditch those nerves. Then you can truly start to enjoy the university experience to the max.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


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

The importance of being Ernest: New Durham student accommodation takes designer digs to the next level

The importance of being Ernest: New Durham student accommodation takes designer digs to the next level

United Kingdom ,


  • First Collegiate AC Prestige Collection site due to open in September
  • Durham students offered a sauna, Sky Lounge and rooftop bar
  • Collegiate seeking to set new standards in student accommodation

Durham’s Ernest Place is set to open this September, revealing premium, design-led accommodation for the city’s students.

Sleek yet bold, the latest offering from student accommodation and lifestyle provide Collegiate AC is guaranteed to turn a few heads.


“Ernest Place is the first site in our Prestige Collection. We’re already known for our superb features and outstanding design, so this development really had to take that to the next level. The result is an incredibly luxurious site with a sophisticated scheme and some bold elements for added surprise.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


Cuanalo, together with his expert interior design team, took time out from his busy schedule to share his insights into what is likely to be one of the most sought-after places to live in Durham.


How does this new site differ from other sites in Durham? What sets it apart?

As the first Collegiate AC Prestige site, we knew that Ernest Place had to stand out not just from student accommodation in Durham but from sites across the UK. We’ve packed the site with first-class features: students can benefit from private dinner party rooms, an on-site cinema, a sauna, study zones, a private fitness centre and two big lounges, one of which is the glass-walled Sky Lounge with roof terrace on the top floor.


Can you explain how the bedrooms are tailor made for students from a design point of view?

We used bespoke furniture to fit in the room, so that there is no wasted space. All items are tailored to suit students’ needs – we sought to provide a place where they can rest, work, socialize, cook, eat, and entertain themselves. The en-suite shower rooms, flat screen TVs, double beds and overall luxurious finish also serve to make this scheme unique.


What are the storage solutions used in the bedrooms?

We’ve implemented various storage solutions to suit students’ different needs. There are shelving units and drawers in the bedrooms, both wall hung and integrated in fitted furniture. These come in several sizes, to house different types of items. We also made space for a double wardrobe, extra storage underneath the bed and kitchen units in the studio apartments.


How are the in-bedroom work areas designed?

We’ve tended to opt for spacious desks with integrated storage, as well as the ubiquitous Collegiate oversized pin board!


The Sky Lounge is an incredible communal space; can you talk us through the vision here and how you achieved it?

The Sky Lounge is a place where students can chill out during the day and especially in the evening, inviting friends and partying if the mood takes them. There is a massive bar, which we highlighted with bespoke brass light fittings above. We also played with a mix of loose and fixed furniture, a semi-private dining area and see-through screens at the back of the bar, which is in the middle of the room. The colour scheme is dark and moody, offering a contrast to the residents’ lounge on the ground floor, which has more of a daytime, welcoming feeling.


The external terrace area will be great for students. How have you designed it to be attractive and functional yet weather resistant and durable?

It was certainly a challenge! In the end went with the concept of an outdoor bar, so that the space is durable and practical. We then introduced fixed lighting on the floor and decorative elements to create the right mood.


Can you talk us through the design of the communal kitchens?

We wanted the communal kitchens to be similar to the ones the students have in their own studios, so that they can still feel at home. At the same time, we wanted to give them something different, so we played with finishes and colours to create new and exciting elements.


The common room looks like a warm and welcoming space; can you share how you achieved this look and feel?

We wanted to create a really homely and cost space, so we used warm colours, with plenty of timber and warm metals like brass and copper. We also had fun playing with textures and materials and mixing loose and fixed seating to create a room that has really broad appeal. Our goal was to provide a space where everyone can feel welcome and relaxed.



Ernest Place will be welcoming the first student residents this September so for more information and booking, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.

Student housing revolution means parents no longer need to worry about where their kids will live at university

Student housing revolution means parents no longer need to worry about where their kids will live at university

United Kingdom ,
  • Contemporary accommodation gives students space to study, socialise and develop
  • Residents’ safety and security are top concerns addressed by modern developers like Collegiate AC
  • Private kitchens and cleaning services mean that students can become independent at their own pace  
A child heading off to university for the first time is an emotional moment for any parent. Mixed in with the pride of sending your offspring out into the world to study is the inevitably anxiety about how they will settle in, make friends and manage to fend for themselves.
Thankfully, the rise of the purpose built student accommodation sector in recent years means that parents can at least cross fretting about sub-standard accommodation off their list of worries.
“Knight Frank reports that £3.1 billion was invested in purpose built student accommodation in 2016, while private equity invested over £2.1 billion in 2015. Student accommodation now offers greater choice and far superior facilities than previous generations of students would believe.”
Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC
At Collegiate AC’s new Ernest Place site in Durham, for example, the en-suite accommodation includes a private desk area with ample space for studying, as well as peaceful study zones dotted about the building. For downtime, there’s a gym, club lounge, dinner party room, sauna, roof terrace and private cinema. This wealth of shared facilities means that residents find it easy to make new friends, so parents can relax about how their child will get on with meeting people.
Ernest Place, like many Collegiate AC properties, also features a concierge service on site, meaning that residents always have someone to turn to should they need advice, guidance or support.
“Knowing that there is always someone on hand that their child can reach out to should the need arise is very comforting for many parents. Whether it’s help with booking taxis, arranging food deliveries or local orientation, the concierge service provides a discreet form of security for young people who are living away from home for the first time.”
Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC
Safety and security is always a big concern for parents. This is why Collegiate uses electronic entry systems for its buildings, with CCTV in communal areas. The site locations are also chosen to be within close proximity to the university and/or city centre, so that students don’t face long walks down deserted streets in order to get home in the evening.
Practical details are often a concern for parents too. Many worry that their youngsters will exist solely on a diet of takeaway pizza once left to fend for themselves. In reality, though, university presents an excellent opportunity for young people to enhance their cooking skills. Accommodation providers like Collegiate include full kitchens in their properties, so that residents can learn to cook in their own time and space, when the mood takes them, without the stress of other residents pilfering their pint of milk from a shared fridge or making fun or their overcooked spaghetti.
“Often the small details can be just as worrying as the big ones when it comes to parents letting their children care for themselves for the first time. That’s why we make a point of offering lifestyle services at all of our properties – residents can have help with cleaning either while they first settle in or on a longer-term basis.”
Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC
Waving goodbye to a child attending university for the first time is never easy, but at least the recent evolution of the student housing sector means that accommodation is one less thing that parents have to worry about.
For more information and to book accommodation, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.