Housing Hand highlights financial plight of international students, in face of 17% rent rise

  • Brexit has quadrupled some course costs
  • Rents projected to rise by 17% over next 5 years
  • Students from EU/EEA and Switzerland can no longer apply for student loans

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has spoken out about the financial plight that international students are facing in the UK.

Students coming to the UK from overseas are facing the perfect storm. Brexit has increased course costs hugely for those coming from the EU/EEA and Switzerland, at the same time as rents are projected to rise steeply. We’ve also got Erasmus funding ceasing, in addition to the withdrawal of student loan facilities. This is going to place a huge additional financial burden on many young people over the next few years.”

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

UCAS’ end of cycle analysis 2020 shows an increase of 1.7% in student numbers from the EU (excluding the UK) being accepted onto UK higher education courses between 2019 and 2020. Non-EU acceptance numbers rose by 16.9% over the same period.

Course costs for these international students are significantly higher than for UK-based students, whose fees are capped at £9,250 per academic year. Those coming to study here from overseas are often charged three to four times this amount, with costs varying based on the degree course and the university. Students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland had their fees capped in the same way, but from August 2021, that cap will no longer apply.

The UK’s withdrawal from the Erasmus funding programme after the end of the academic year in 2021 will add to the pain, as will the fact that students coming from the EU/EEA and Switzerland can no longer apply for student loans.

“It is the rising cost of renting accommodation in the UK that is really adding to students’ plight. While we’ve seen landlords offering lower rents over the past year, as a result of the pandemic, projections show that rents are set to increase significantly between now and 2025.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

It is Savills’ data that has flagged up the likelihood of rising rents. The company projects that rents across the UK will rise by 0.8% in 2021, then accelerate the pace at which they are increasing, with total growth of 17% by 2025. For students on limited budgets – those from the UK as well as from overseas – that means having to find even more cash to pay their way through university.

“The spiralling costs of higher education in the UK – including students’ accommodation – increasingly mean that only those from higher income families are likely to have the option to attend. This is particularly the case for international students, given the impact of Brexit on the cost of studying in the UK.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand


For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/