Britain’s largest supplier of purpose-built student accommodation, Unite, says students are bored with Zoom and will return en masse to their rental accommodation in the near future.
Universities are already able to resume in-person teaching for students who are studying practical or practice-based subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities; and the government says it will review the timing for the return of remaining students by the end of the Easter holiday.
In a statement to its shareholders, Unite warns that some universities will stick with online-only teaching and assessment for the remainder of the academic year - but it insists that will not last.
“We know from our recent student survey that the majority want to return and enjoy university life. Eighty six per cent of students are keen to get onto university campus once it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, 79 per cent of students said they wanted to receive some face-to-face teaching in the third term, if restrictions are eased” explains Unite chief executive Richard Smith .
“Approximately 65 per cent of checked-in students have now returned to our buildings, which we expect to rise further following the end of the government's stay at home rule on 29 March.”
Smith adds that the company has already collected 95 per cent of rent due to date for the 2020/21 academic year.
Unite has over 1,700 new beds in its development pipeline, much of it in London.
Weekly rents, inclusive of utilities and insurance, range from £137.