Leeds Student Population Demand.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS AND STUDENT NUMBERS

  • Leeds University had 540 places unfilled and Leeds Metropolitan had 141 places unfilled, (although this has since fallen to 123 after students started at the

university).   Leeds Trinity filled all its courses in 2012.

  • Fees increased to £9,000-a-year which may have deterred some young people from applying or to defer their applications.
  • Analysis from UCAS suggests there has been a 3.5% increase in student applications at January 2013 in comparison to the same time point last year.
  • There has been a 10.5% increase in applications from 19 year olds suggesting that some people had stalled their applications.
  • Table 2: Total Projected student numbers in Leeds 2012/13 – 2014/15
  • Year 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 Student category University of Leeds 29,405 29,330 29,172 29,325 Leeds Metropolitan University and total 20,600 20,200 19,000 17,870 50,005 49,530 48,172 47,195

 

CURRENT SUPPLY OF STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

  • Research undertaken by Unipol in 2012 showed almost 13,000 students living in purpose built accommodation, either university maintained, or offered through head-leasing or nomination agreements between Universities and developers/providers, or provided directly by private sector providers.
  • This increased from 5,200 in 2007. Currently 55% of students live in such accommodation compared to 31% in 2007.

 

DEMAND FROM STUDENTS

  • 2012-2013 sees the last year of the “bulge” in intake made by previous over-recruiting by Leeds Metropolitan University disappearing, reducing student demand for accommodation by 1,200 bed spaces in 2013-2014.
  • There was also a reduction in the number of students in Leeds of 2,500 in 2012-2013, this is mainly undergraduates and will run through 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.
  • With the reduction in student numbers overall, in addition to the increasing popularity of city centre flats and availability of purpose built student accommodation, the estimated numbers of students in the non-purpose-built sector is 25,262.
  • The reduction in student demand is startling. Unless student intake picks up the 2,500 reductions in intake will build across the years to a reduction of around 7,000.
  • For a long time, demand from ‘returning students’ i.e. 2nd, 3rd, 4th year students have tended to be for living in shared housing in areas close to the universities.
  • Indications from purpose built accommodation providers suggest a constant minority of bed spaces are taken up by returning students. Research by renew for Unipol in Leeds in 2012, found a clear preference from students for housing options closer to the universities and the city centre, and accordingly this may translate into increasing demand from returning students for purpose built accommodation.

 

COMPARISONS OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND

  • If the projected trend in student applications manifests itself, then it would appear that there may be scope and justification for some small scale increases in new purpose-built accommodation to meet demand changes, although this needs to be considered in the context of any surplus provision.
  • It is easy for attention to focus on the numbers of new students needing to be accommodated each year and upon the housing requirements of 1st year students.
  • It is likely that there could be a surplus of between 7,000 and 10,000 bed spaces in purpose built bed spaces over likely demand, depending on whether proposed new build accommodation proceeds.
  • Currently 45% of students meet their accommodation needs through living in Purpose Built Student Accommodation, with the remainder either living in off-street private rented housing (47%) or living at home (8%).

 

PLANNING POLICY

  • The Leeds Unitary Development Plan (UDP) Review 2006: Volume 1: Written Statement (7.5.29, p171) states that in terms of the needs of students planning policy seeks to control the growth of the student population in the wider Headingly area with measures to disperse students to other appropriate parts of the city.
  • Leeds City Council’s approach to the use of areas of the city which have been designated as Quarters (e.g. Education, Hospital, Entertainment, and Prime Office Quarters) states that “…there is a need to establish a strategic approach which is flexible enough to cope with the innate uncertainties facing the development future of a city like Leeds”. Leeds UDP (2006), p289.
  • Outside of Leeds and Yorkshire, many examples have come to light that may impact on consideration by Leeds City Council of the provision of new student accommodation.

 

 

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