Savills. European Student Housing: Forever Young
POSITIVE COUNTER-EFFECT OF THE PANDEMIC ON STUDENT NUMBERS
Student numbers increased significantly last year (2020–2021) in most European countries. On average, across the countries shown in the report student numbers increased by 2.4% compared to the previous academic year (pre-Covid), whilst they decreased by 1.2% between 2018/19 and 2019/20. In some cities, student numbers evolved particularly sharply and in opposite directions, ranging from 9% in Gothenburg and 7% in Malmo to -10% in Rome, -4.4% in Barcelona.
Part of this increase can be linked to the pandemic. Firstly, because in some countries (i.g. France, Denmark, Netherlands), there was greater leniency than usual in respect of higher education entry tests and grading of exams, given the difficulty to attend classes or exams during lockdowns. Secondly, due to the tight labour market, scarce job opportunities, especially amongst young people, did not provide the usual alternative to the education path. Indeed, historical data shows a strong correlation between rising student numbers and falling employment rates. Finally, sabbatical plans were limited due to travel restrictions.