Student Accommodation Choices
The results of research into student perceptions and preferences about Nottingham's student accommodation
What kind of accommodation do Nottingham’s students prefer and why? Those are the questions answered in a new survey published, the biggest of its kind in recent years.
The aim of the survey was to find out what students think about the range and quality of housing available to them in Nottingham and why they prefer particular types of accommodation. It also sheds light on the extent to which students in private housing feel part of the surrounding community.
The results show that most students think ‘less is more’ rather than ‘big is beautiful’ with just over two thirds preferring to live in private rented houses instead of larger developments (defined as those housing ten or more students).
The main attractions for those choosing a private rented house or flat were the independent lifestyle it allows and control over who they share with. Popular features were large bedrooms, roomy living space and good locations in relation to the university and city. Common irritants in private housing were poor standards of decoration and repair, some inconvenient locations and slow response times by landlords to requests for repairs.
Just over a fifth of students who responded to the survey preferred the larger, off-campus, developments managed by private companies specialising in student accommodation. Residents in these developments were attracted to the good opportunities for socialising, the generally strong security and safety provision and the convenience of having the accommodation managers on site. All-inclusive bills were also a popular factor. Characteristic complaints about larger developments were slow response times by management, excessive noise and poor communal spaces.
Students in privately rented houses or flats were more likely to have got to know non-student neighbours than those in larger developments. High proportions of those living in Beeston and Lenton Abbey felt well-integrated into their neighbourhoods as did, less predictably, those living in Nottingham city centre.
The survey took place in May 2008.