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Student Accommodation Conference & Awards reveals agenda

The event has a jam-packed schedule of talks that will spark your imagination

Posted by Jo Golding | October 30, 2018 | Events

The Student Accommodation Conference & Awards brought to you by Property Week, returns to its home in London for 2018, taking place 12 December at the InterContinental London – The O2.

Now in its 11th year and firmly established as the UK’s premier student housing event, the conference and awards attracts more than 700 influential figures from both the private and public sector. The conference is the key live information source for thought leaders, agents, operators, developers and investors making student living a reality, as well as the universities and research institutions looking to attract students.

This year’s conference will continue to facilitate cutting edge debate, explore best practice and discover the opportunities for growth and innovation under the theme of ‘Best in class. How do we ensure the sector graduates to the next level?’ We will also discuss the effect student wellbeing has on design and build, amongst other hot topics.

The conference will also be complemented by the exhibition hall which will house more than 35 leading suppliers showcasing their latest technology, products and services from furniture, internet and energy providers, to security, financial and legal services.

Following on from the conference, the Student Accommodation Awards is the showcase event for the industry, recognising and rewarding the individuals, teams and organisations whose work demonstrates a vibrant, innovative and unique sector. The shortlist has been announced, visit to see who has made the list.

Why attend?

·       Meet and engage with 700+ operators, developers, investors, agencies and universities

·       Discover and learn about changing student expectations and criteria for campus selection

·       Celebrate two brand new awards ‘Collaboration of the Year’ and ‘Agency Team of the Year’

·       Network and applaud the best in the industry

·       Raise your company profile within the student housing sector

Book your place now for the conference and awards via Special rates for universities who can attend the conference for £149 – saving you more than £300!

Contact Sabreena for further information on or by calling 020 8253 8684.

The 2018 agenda at a glance – Wednesday 12 December 2018 - Best in class. How do we ensure the sector graduates to the next level?

9:00 Registration and networking

10:00 Welcome from the chair

10:10 Political keynote address

10:40 Question Time – Higher education keynote panel

In this Question Time-style debate, we bring together key experts from the world of higher education to share their thoughts on hot topics including Brexit, funding and international students.  

11:20 Future Gazing Talk – Disruption

Co-working spaces are currently disrupting the offices market, online retail has caused a seismic shift in traditional retail patterns and Airbnb is keeping the hotel industry on its toes. Is student accommodation on the precipice of similar disruption? In this TED style talk we examine the key features of disruption and how to ride the wave when it comes along.

11:35-12:15 Morning break, networking and refreshments


Stream 1: Asset class evolution

As student accommodation continues down the path of maturity, the characteristics of the asset class are set to evolve even further. Against the backdrop of major shifts in the macro and micro environment as well as game changing consolidations and acquisitions of PBSA brands and moves into co-living, micro living and BTR – what does the future pipeline look like? In this stream we crunch the numbers, analyse the data and gauge investor sentiment. Topics that will be covered include:

·       PBSA beyond the yields: market drivers and the next frontier

·       Investor sentiment and appetites for the UK, EMEA and the wider globe

·       New and exclusive business intelligence and data insights on global student movements, domestic and international location hotspot analysis and consumer and product analysis

·       Charting the flow of money domestically and globally and gaining maximum yields in the current operating environment: supply vs demand, luxury vs midmarket vs affordable, achieving capacity vs voids

Stream 2: Product, placemaking and delivery evolution

In this stream we examine the type of student accommodation currently being built, why the sector needs to be flexible and innovate, and how the product is set to evolve. We will highlight the current planning and development opportunities and how to overcome the challenges as well as bringing in new thoughts on construction and design that can bring down costs and increase affordability. Topics that will be covered include:

·       The metamorphosis of PBSA: understanding co-living, micro living and BTR and the opportunities to diversify your portfolio

·       London development opportunities: the draft London plan and policy H17 from a local authority perspective

·       Regional development opportunities: examining established vs new university towns and the opportunities for development

·       The future of construction: how to bring down your costs and increase affordability in student accommodation

·       International design case studies

Stream 3: Operation and management evolution

The global student numbers race and the increased understanding of the importance of student mental wellbeing has raised the profile of student accommodation – which is now recognised as one of the core components of an appealing and competitive university offering. It has also highlighted the importance of increased collaboration between higher education institutions and private accommodation providers. In this stream you will hear from seasoned experts from the university and PBSA sectors on how the management of student accommodation is rising to the challenge and responsibilities of the new operating landscape. Topics that will be covered include:

·       The student experience: new thoughts on student attraction, retention and success, and the role that accommodation plays

·       Mental health and wellbeing: new thoughts and data on how this will drive the next evolution of student accommodation

·       The relationship between on campus infrastructure and student retention

·       Collaboration and working together: case studies on operation and management imperatives

Innovation Zone

The Innovation Zone will comprise of topic specific ‘in the round discussions’, which are designed to facilitate knowledge sharing, debate, discussion and sow the seeds that will drive innovation in student accommodation. Topics that will be covered are:

·       Funding

·       Consumer insights

·       Technology and connectivity


13:30-14:30 Lunch and networking


Stream 1: Asset class evolution

Stream 2: Product, placemaking and delivery evolution

Stream 3: Operation and management evolution

Innovation Zone


16:30 Afternoon break, networking and refreshments

17:00 Future Gazing Talk – Future Living

Driverless cars and commercial human space flights are just some of the exciting technology driven developments on the horizon and in this TED style talk we will explore futuristic innovations in living spaces.  

17:15 Question Time – PBSA keynote panel

In this Question Time-style debate, we bring together notable figures from the PBSA world and tie together all the key topics of the day in a dynamic and interactive session.

17:55 Chair’s closing remarks and conference ends

18:00 Networking drinks

20:00 Gala dinner

21:45 Awards presentation

01:00 Carriages


T: @StudentPW #StudentPW

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