While much has been written, spoken and endlessly debated about the values, choices and lifestyle of the millennial generation, for those who are interested in student accommodation, Gen Z is the one to watch.
Growing up with instant internet at the touch of a smartphone button, under the cloud of the economic crisis and with more access to information from around the world, this upcoming generation has different influences that affect their decisions when it comes to choosing where to live.
Digital Natives and the need for speed
Today’s higher education experience is incredibly tech based. As a digital generation, those entering into university today have a different attitude towards learning – digital tools are part of everyday life, and they expect this in their education experience, making use of online forums, connecting on Skype and with interactive online study.
Students entering university accommodation expect to be able to use a wide range of digital devices at once and for the speeds to deliver. From streaming a favourite movie on Netflix, to downloading course materials, todays student want access to the internet to be an instant experience.
A globally connected generation
Today’s generation of students are truly global, thanks to the ability to easily connect with others all over the world. Influenced not only by what is going on in their immediate vicinity, today’s students have access to news across a wide range of countries, thanks to social media and the internet. They are also the most likely generation to work in multiple countries, and we have seen a huge surge in applications from overseas students across the UK in recent years.
A UK university education is extremely desirable as it offers not only the opportunity to benefit from the UK’s world class system, but it also gives a great foundation to work anywhere across the globe. Students arriving from overseas are looking for high quality student accommodation and are more likely to choose Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) to reside in, thanks to the benefits of an existing track record as they may not be able to view prior to tenancy, and the lifestyle benefits it can afford in comparison with single let units.
While much is made of the ‘digital generation’ when it comes to learning, a lot takes place outside the lectures. Just as we are seeing in the world of work, a shift towards collaborative working it taking place in higher education, and students want to have spaces in which to both socialise and work alongside their friends and those on their courses.
BPSA which offers high quality, well equipped communal spaces where students can come together is highly sought after – this is a generation which thrives on connection.
As a generation who grew up with instant access to many things, from streaming a favourite song to skyping a family member on the other side of the world, Gen Z students expect accommodation to be within easy reach of their place of study.
A more frugal generation than the millennials who came before them, thanks to growing up under the shadow of the economic crisis, spending on travel fares for both getting to Uni and nights out is not a favourable option.
Therefore, location of student accommodation is key. Today’s students are looking for a place to live that will allow them easy access to their campus, while also being within easy reach of shopping and social facilities.