In-depth report on the cost of student accommodation launched

The cost of student accommodation has important implications for the accessibility of higher education. At M·E·L Research our vision is to make a positive difference to organisations, employees, customers and wider society. Therefore we were delighted to support Unipol and the National Union for Students (NUS) to deliver their 2021 Accommodation Costs Survey.


This report shows that:

  • The average annual cost for student accommodation in the UK now stands at £7,374 but in London it is £9,488.
  • Even if students received the full student maintenance loan, rent would consume 88% of it in London, leaving students just £38 per week to spend on anything else. Outside of London accommodation costs account for 72% of the maximum loan, leaving students with £69.52 to spend on other living costs.
  • Student rents have risen by 16% since the last survey in 2018/19 and 61% since 2011/12. Last year, rents increased by 4.4%.
  • Private providers dominate the market, with 70% of the bed spaces surveyed, as universities move away from their own accommodation provision.
  • Older stock with cheaper rents is getting replaced with ensuite and  studio rooms and the availability of lower cost accommodation is reducing.

Commenting on the report Steve Handley, Client Implementation Director at M·E·L Research said:
“In the context of the national levelling up agenda, steeply rising accommodation costs for students and clear discrepancies between London and the rest of the country raise stark questions of how much choice less affluent students have regarding where they study. I hope the comprehensive evidence in this report and the report’s recommendations are heeded.”