Students: Housing

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help improve the standard of student housing.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

Higher education providers are autonomous bodies that are independent from the government and so the government plays no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation.

We have seen evidence that the standard of student accommodation is improving. For example, in 2018/19, the level of self-catered ensuite provision at institutions stood at approximately 222,000 rooms compared to approximately 203,000 in 2012/13, a 9% increase. Meanwhile, the number of self-catered standard rooms with shared facilities at institutions has declined from around 87,000 to approximately 64,000, a 26% decrease.

The independent panel supporting the Post-18 Review of Education and Funding published their report on 30 May where they recommended the Office for Students examines the costs of student accommodation and works with students and providers to improve the quality and consistency of data about costs, rents, profits and quality. The government will consider the panel’s proposals and conclude the review at the Spending Review.

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