Student housing: crisis and opportunity

8th March 2023

We invite you to join us at a Cockburn mini-conference exploring the issues, challenges, and opportunities of student housing in Edinburgh.

In November 2022, 50% of student respondents to Slurp – Student Action for Homelessness’ housing survey reported already looking for accommodation for the next academic year. According to NUS Scotland, 12% of students have experienced homelessness at some point during their studies. Between 2018 and 2021, student rent has increased by 34% – yet despite the price increase, purpose-built student accommodation often remains unfit for purpose. As reports of students couch-surfing well into the academic year flood the Internet, there appears to be no end in sight for the student housing crisis.

At the same time, PBSAs show no signs of slowing down, with planning applications being submitted on a regular basis, and local residents routinely issue objections to potential development plans. What we’re left with is a dire situation where students are left to choose between unfit, but affordable housing, or unaffordable housing, but a roof over their head, while local residents suffer the increasingly expansionist endeavours of the private housing sector. What discussion about this does take place, does so in individual bubbles – students talk to students, community members amongst themselves, and so on. This forum is looking to bring the different stakeholders in the student housing sector together to discuss how the current crisis impacts all differently, what are the expectations towards the situation’s improvement, and what can we all do moving forward.

The event will bring speakers from the city’s student body, university developer, community and council representatives together to understand each sector’s perspective on the crisis. There will be a potential opportunity to join via Zoom.

There will be an opportunity to buy tickets at the door at an increased price of £5, subject to availability.


NUS Scotland “Fighting for Students: Towards a Student Housing Strategy in Scotland” report

Book Here