Leeds’ student population is increasing exponentially as the world class educational facilities make the city an enticing opportunity for students both from the UK and overseas. Currently there are over 70,000 students enrolled in the numerous universities across the city. The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University are the most recognised institutions, alongside Leeds Trinity and the newly established Leeds Arts University, making it one of the largest student populations in Britain.
Universities are recognised as not for profit organisations that are investing heavily in the facilities that they offer. State of the art, innovative facilities tend to attract a wider range of student and stand as one of the most appealing draws for students when considering where to study. With so many universities offering a diverse range of courses up and down the country universities are in competition with each other to attract more students year on year. Subsequently providing a plethora of opportunities for local businesses.
The University of Leeds has the 8th largest income out of approximately 110 UK universities. Through contributing significantly to the higher education sector, Leeds University contributed a staggering £1.3 billion, adding £2.4 billion to the region’s overall economy back in 2014. Last year, Leeds Beckett University has an annual turnover of £221 million, contributing to an estimated £520 million to the regional economy.
Leeds University have devised a strategy aiming not only to increase the overall number of students but to increase the calibre of the applicant. Boosting standards to attract the best applicants from around the world helps to secure a higher quality of graduate. By driving standards upwards this places graduates into higher performing job roles, with the advantage of higher pay. Higher wages boost the local economy due to people having more disposable income. The University of Leeds is the city’s 3rd largest employer in Leeds and has created over 14,000 jobs across the country.
According to the University of Leeds, for every 100 full time jobs created by the university, an extra 117 additional jobs are created. Leeds’ expanding job market as well as growing student population has had an advantageous effect on the overall property market and companies like RW Invest are capitalising on this flourishing region. One of the strongest impacts that the relentless student numbers has on the city is the greater need to provide suitable accommodation, which has encouraged numerous regeneration projects within the housing sector to meet the intense demand.
The tallest building in Leeds is a flagship project coined Sky Plaza which is situated over 37 storeys. This purpose-built student accommodation aims to tackle the supply and demand problem that is present across the city as it attracts students due to its innovative design and convenient location, two of the main things that the 21stcentury student looks for.
Property developers are entrusting their money into new builds around Leeds as the city centre postcode is emerging as one of the biggest student hot spots. The top earning postcode for rental yields is LS6, due to being a major attraction for students wishing to reside in the city. The under supply of homes for students, graduates and young professionals is enabling investors to take advantage of the thriving population and enviable location, as well as raising the rental prices for students as they are willing to pay a premium for a higher standard of living.
Leeds’ student population is creating a prosperous city, one that many choose to study, work and invest. However, it is important not to disregard the city as a major economic player as universities and the student population they create are one of the top performing catalysts behind the success of the city.