Student accommodation specialist Empiric Student Property insists the higher education sector, “will prove resilient” in the wake of the Brexit result.
Empiric Student Property (ESP) shared its outlook on life outside of the European Union in its latest trading update as it continues to expand its portfolio in university cities and towns across the nation.
Although the group acknowledged it is not in a position to determine exactly what the consequences will be for the higher education sector in the UK, it did, however, say it believes the impact on the operations of the group “will be limited.”
ESP said: “EU students represent only six per cent of all full-time students in the UK, due primarily to the historical cap on the number of EU (including UK) students, as well the higher overall cost of studying in the UK (albeit subsidised) compared to continental Europe.
“Therefore, the UK’s higher education system is not dependent on this portion of the market.
“While students from the EU may be subject to more stringent visa requirements and higher fees, there is strong demand from other international students and the potential long-term devaluation of Sterling would make the UK more affordable for international students. There is also a significant increase in expectations of an interest rate fall which would be to our benefit.
“Therefore, we believe the higher education sector and, by implication, the student accommodation sector will prove resilient.”
Paul Hadaway, ESP chief executive, added: “With the Brexit result, we can expect some market volatility over the foreseeable future, but we are confident our business model will prove to be robust.”
Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of Universities UK - the advocacy organisation for institutions across Britain - however, said leaving the EU will create “significant challenges” for universities.
She added: “Our first priority will be to convince the UK Government to take steps to ensure staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities in the long-term, and to promote the UK as a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds.
“They make a powerful contribution to university research and teaching and have a positive impact on the British economy and society. We will also prioritise securing opportunities for our researchers and students to access vital pan-European programmes and build new global networks.”
Source: The Independent
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