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The vulnerability of student populations and a new -wave of ‘studentification. Darren P. Smith University of Brighton, UK The Fourth International Conference on Population Geographies The Chinese University of Hong Kong 11th July 2007. Structure. The first-wave of studentification

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the vulnerability of student populations and a new wave of studentification
The vulnerability of student populations and a new -wave of ‘studentification

Darren P. Smith

University of Brighton, UK

The Fourth International Conference on Population Geographies

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

11th July 2007

  • The first-wave of studentification
    • The more effective management of student populations (UniversitiesUK Studentification Guide)
    • Stabilising the concentrations of student populations (Anti-Student Housing Restraint Areas - ASHORES)
  • The second-wave of studentification
    • The INTENTIONAL ‘dispersal’ and ‘regulation’ of student populations via ‘luxury’ (and costly) purpose-built student accommodation

=Students are becoming a more vulnerable social groups

the definition of studentification
The definition of studentification
  • Macmillan English Dictionary (2003)
    • ‘[Studentification is] the social and environmental changes caused by very large numbers of students living in particular areas of a town or city.’
  • Wikipedia (2005)
    • ‘Studentification is a neologism, coined to describe the effects that a large student population can have on an established population
the challenges opportunities of studentification
The challenges/opportunities of studentification
  • Social (e.g. the ‘demographic imbalance’ & school closures, loss of sense of community, increase of crime, unsustainability, low voting…)
  • Cultural (e.g. student-oriented retail, leisure, recreation, sense of place)
  • Environmental (e.g. increased refuse, tipping & rats, noise nuisance, parking, fly posters, to-let signs…)
  • Economic (e.g. rising property prices, mono-tenurial profiles, exclusion of families…)
improving the management of student pops
Improving the management of student pops.

Studentification’: A Guide To Opportunities, Challenges & Practice

Commissioned / published by: UniversitiesUK/SCOP

Funded by: Department for Education and Skills,

Office of Deputy Prime Minister &

Local Government Association

Parliamentary launch - 27th June 2006

key developments
Key developments…………
  • Strategic & local level initiatives (checklist)
    • Partnership working
    • Interlocking strategies
    • Effective communication channels
    • Respect, transparency, and trust
    • Sensitive to the local context
      • Studentification unfolds in different ways within and between different places
      • No blueprint for mitigating the challenges of studentification
    • Sharing of experience and practice between organisations and stakeholders
key developments since uuk guide
Key Developments since UUK Guide
  • Student Accommodation Strategy (HEIs/LAs)
    • Student Strategy Managers (Nottingham)
    • Community Liaison Officers (Loughborough)
    • Community Wardens
    • Neighbourhood Helplines (Leeds)
    • Complaint response strategies (Leicester, 101)
    • Accommodation Bureaux (e.g. Unipol in Nottingham)
    • Accreditation Schemes (London-wide)
  • Community Strategy
    • Student Volunteering in the community (CUPP Brighton)
key developments since uuk guide14
Key Developments since UUK Guide
  • Raising student expectations of quality and management of accommodation
    • Student Housing Handbook Guides and Guidance
    • House-hunting talks, Fresher stalls, Leaflets, Internet, etc
    • Alert students to alternative residential locations & widen knowledge (Area Guides in London)
  • Being a good neighbour & responsibilities as tenants and neighbours
    • Codes of behaviour – on/off-campus
    • Information directories – contacts and timings
  • Encourage ‘stable’ student households
key developments since uuk guide15
Key Developments since UUK Guide
  • Noise awareness campaigns
    • SSHH Campaigns (Silent Students Happy Homes)
  • Traffic and parking initiatives
    • Car parking permit schemes (Bristol)
    • Subsidised public transport (Norwich)
  • Environmental blight campaigns
    • Awareness and recycling campaigns (Brighton)
  • Crime (Birmingham – Emma Thompson) and fire prevention (Bath)
studentification events since uuk guide
Studentification events since UUK Guide
  • All-party parliamentary group (APPG) on balanced and sustainable communities
  • National HMO Lobby continues to expand – 35 towns and cities
    • Devolution of decision-making to neighbourhoods (White Paper)
  • National conference for local councillors/local authority officers: - hosted by Nottingham City Council
    • Councillors' Campaign for Balanced Communities
studentification events since uuk guide17
Studentification events since UUK Guide
  • National Union of Students (NUS) think tank held at the DCLG in London - Unipol/Universities Parternships Programme (UPP)
  • NUS publication ‘Students in the Community’ - 11th June 2007
    • Championed by the Housing Minister, Baroness Andrews
    • ‘… issues around students and communities have become a real challenge for students’ unions across the country’ (p.1).
  • ‘Students in the Community: Studentification’ - Association of Student Residences and Accommodation (ASRA): Annual Conference Swansea (April 2007)
    • Regional meetings: South-east – Uni. of Greenwich (June 2007)
  • Local Student Unions more pro-active
  • University of Brighton Student Union survey
  • Universities
    • e.g. University of Bristol, University of Leicester
  • Police
studentification events since uuk guide18
Studentification events since UUK Guide
  • ‘Studentification: The Next Steps’ - local authority and university officers & representatives from student unions - organised by Norwich City Council and University of East Anglia - 19th June 2007
  • UniversitiesUK ‘Students and Sustainable Communities’ (October 2007)
  • Unipol training events… 6th July (London)
the emerging processes of studentification
The emerging processes of studentification?
  • The first-wave of studentification (1995>present?)
    • The marked expansion of student populations
    • Influx of students into the private-rented housing sector (HMOs)
    • Perceived as ‘urban decline’ (Studentification is the modern scourge of British cities)
  • The second-wave of studentification (2005>present?)
    • The ‘stabilisation’ of the expansion of student populations
    • The proliferation of purpose-built student accommodation by the private sector (Unite, Opal)
    • Marketed as a form of ‘urban regeneration’ (Studentification in a more positive light)
the conditions of the second wave
The conditions of the second-wave?
  • HMO Mandatory (and Selective) Licensing - Housing Act 2005
  • Accreditation – ANUK/UUK
  • Property market saturation (buy-to-let) for the (over-)supply of student accommodation
the conditions of the second wave21
The conditions of the second-wave?
  • Private sector involvement –‘luxury’ student accommodation
    • Changing student lifestyles
    • The effects of ‘top-up’ tuition fees & student bursaries
    • Changing student populations – home, EU and international
  • The refurbishment of Halls of Residence (UPP) on university campuses - recruitment and retention
the emerging processes of studentification22
The emerging processes of studentification?
  • Purpose-built developments on brown-field sites
do purpose built effectively deliver
Do purpose-built effectively deliver:
  • An opportunity to:
    • regulate anti-social behaviour?
    • enhance quality and management of student accommodation?
    • solve refuse collection issues, etc?
    • control student leisure & recreation spaces (bars) ?
    • reduce use of private vehicles?
    • circulate information leaflets and enhance? communication?
    • Increase electoral voting?
    • Reduce concentrations in studentified areas?
    • (Re)turn studentified areas to family housing?
the emerging processes of studentification27
The emerging processes of studentification?
  • Purpose-built developments in studentified areas
    • Regulating student populations?
purpose build and the tipping point29
Purpose-build and the ‘tipping-point’
  • McGill student ghetto, Montreal, Canada
    • New Residence Hall (NRH)
the future of studentified areas
The future of studentified areas?
  • Gentrification?
    • The retention of graduates and conversion of student accommodation (PRS) for young professionals
    • Students displaced to former social rented estates / ‘declining areas’ (Brighton, Bristol)
the future of studentified areas32
The future of studentified areas?
  • Destudentification?
    • The abandonment of student areas by students and student landlords (Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, London)
      • ‘We want our students back!’
    • Over-supply of bed spaces - the effects of purpose-built student accommodation?
    • Do the families come back? Or A8 migrants?
the future of studentified areas34
The future of studentified areas?
  • Gated-communities?
    • The segregation of students and established communities
    • Students are jettisoned into established communities with no experience of student populations
conclusion the key debate
Conclusion: the key debate?
  • Studentification
    • More effective management of student housing and student populations
      • And / or
    • Legislative change (e.g. Use Classes Order)
  • In the context of:
    • a changing private rented sector?
    • the diversification of the student population & student lifestyles/experiences?
codes of conduct kingston
Codes of Conduct - Kingston

‘The university is sending letters to the parents of

all new and Returning students this summer

telling them about the university’s student

code of conduct and expectations for


This is one of several initiatives aimed at

fostering an atmosphere of responsibility

when the bulk of the student body returns to

campus in September, members of the Board of

Trustees heard at their May 6 meeting.

active citizens toronto
Active citizens - Toronto
  • ‘We’re promoting the idea of our students as active citizens by sensitizing them to the fact that this is a neighbourhood.
  • The University is concerned with breaking down various misconceptions of students that residents hold’ (McGill Daily, 22/09/03).
student volunteering toronto
Student volunteering - Toronto
  • ‘With a nudge from the University Relations Office (URO), a group of students attempted to change the community’s feelings by participating in a neighbourhood cleanup’.
  • ’50 students donned gloves, grabbed garbage bags, and streamed out of the Milton Gates to collect the telling remains of a first week of excessive drinking and discarded apartment furnishings’ (McGill Daily, 22/09/03).
anti social behaviour toronto
Anti-social behaviour - Toronto
  • ‘The officers at Station 19 created an action plan to curtail noise and disruption at night. The station came up with the Local Intervention Group, a short-term task force that began patrolling the area between 8 pm and 4 am on August 25…. the group has adopted a zero-tolerance policy and has already issued roughly 125 tickets’ (McGill Daily, 22/09/03).